Trails and Ways have such a mythical backstory that it’s easy to forget they only have an EP and one full-length record under their belt. From college roommate-ing to living in Brazil to lineup shifts, even having their last record Pathology released on a Brazilian label (Balaclava) in addition to Barsuk, the Oakland band is truly living out each musical moment their path has afforded, with great fanfare. Solo artist Kendra McKinley has even joined the ranks on guitar in the current live lineup. This week, to add the growing momentum, the band has released new song “Happiness.”
Think summer, but that end-of-August mood that’s more wistful and contemplative than a July summer: That’s the feeling that the band weaves through “Happiness.” Though, don’t get me wrong, it’s still perfectly summery in the way you might picture. With twinkling guitar hooks, traveling bass lines, hand claps, reverbed vocals, and a low-key explosion in the chorus, it’s that last bite of summer you’ve always wanted. The sound this time around seems more balanced and mature than previous efforts, so it’s a great hint at emerging directions the new lineup may take in the future. Overall, it’s a smooth and sweet little jam we can feel some happiness about.
This fall, the band is embarking on a national tour in October and November. It’s a long way out, but heads up for their hometown Oakland date, which will surely be a welcome homecoming for the two-month road warriors.
Trails and Ways
November 18, 2016