The song finds the narrator caught in between, grappling with himself, through poetic meter – “I could lie to pass it off / With honesty would I be better off?” – and always returning to the sonorous, melodic refrains “I’m caught low” and “In limbo.” The track is slathered in ghostly indie rock balladry – warbling background vocals and guitar trickles, a stop-start punctuated drum beat, and lead singer Gabe Larson’s distinct, huge, warm- blanket vocals. The third single follows the previously released “Ruthless” and “Summer Rain” from the forthcoming album Ruthless.
Waldemar – named after Larson’s grandfather, a hard-laboring Midwestern farmer – exemplifies an acceptance of personal heritage and an understanding of the difficulties we inherit and share. Years ago, at a creative crossroads following a band breakup, Larson found inspiration in the tenacity of his once-struggling ancestor and used it to forge his path forward. With his brother, he transformed a rundown horse barn on his property into a professional recording studio, then meticulously wrote, recorded, scrapped and rewrote the 11 songs that make up Ruthless.
Throughout the five-year studio and album construction process, Larson worked manual labor jobs installing floors, fixing roofs, painting houses, and driving school buses to fund his passion and support his growing family. The story is a living metaphor – rather than abandon those things that needed repair, Larson and his collaborators tirelessly worked to remake them and find a way to instill personal meaning.
Ruthless is the relentless vision of a musician perfecting a sound, the cascades of guitars, synths and vocals washing over a listener like rivers polishing stone, like grit on grains of wood. In a Midwestern setting that gave rise to so many other American dreams, Waldemar’s debut album is a testament to the power of struggle – that we are made by what we make.
Waldemar also announced their first run of tour dates in several years. Click here to visit their site or see them all below.
5/6 – Eau Claire, WI – Stones Throw
5/11 – Madison, WI – The Bur Oak
5/12 – Milwaukee, WI – Company Brewing
5/13 – Winona, MN – Mid West Music Fest
5/25 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
5/26 – Chicago, IL – Judson and Moore Distillery
5/27 – Dubuque, IA – Fox Den Motel