Maddy Wyatt (vocals, guitar, flute) has long been a celebrated mainstay of New York’s singer/songwriter scene, with her lilting voice and hummable melodies earning comparisons to artists such as Feist and Stars. Ready to grow from a solo artist to a band, Maddy did not have to look far for members – her brothers Paul (guitar, vocals) and Alex (drums, vocals). The three of them had been making music together since banging on pots and pans as kids. With the addition of Zach Lane (bass) and Dana Haynes (keys, vocals) the project morphed from solo effort to collaborative adventure.
Using the surname of 3/5ths of the members, the band dubbed themselves Wyatt and wasted no time getting the word out. Releasing a self titled EP – their debut as a band – in the summer of 2011, the NY based 5-piece toured regionally and in the Southwest, earning praise at festivals such as SXSW and CMJ. TimeOutNewYork went so far as to say “their lack of pretension and simple melodies are reminiscent of Mirah.”
The songs have lyrical focus stemming from Maddy’s singer-songwriter instincts, and Wyatt breaks out of the “indie folk” pack. As evidenced by the toe-tapping rhythms of the debut EP, this band wants you to dance. In a unique twist, the group also likes to incorporate the instruments they originally picked up in middle school band classes, such as clarinet and flute. Somehow they manage to make this work in a way that is completely appealing to the ears of audiences ranging from college kids to indie rock elitists.
Wyatt believes that music should take care of you, and listeners find themselves wanting to wrap up in the songs like a comfort blanket. It’s hard to imagine being in a bad mood after one listen to the first single “Leonah,” with jangly guitars, driving drums, and perfect harmonies decorating Maddy’s sweet melody. The sound evokes the feeling of a perfect summer afternoon, running through the grass and jumping in the pool with friends – which coincidentally happens in the accompanying video.
Throughout the summer, Wyatt is playing regionally in the NY area. Maddy will also make some solo appearance in LA, and a month-long tour is on the horizon for autumn. A full-length album is also in the works.
Take a listen to the official music video for the Wyatt’s debut single “Leonah.”