Although Wild Sweet Orange start off with the country influences that one might expect for a band from Birmingham, Alabama, their bio lists David Lynch alongside Emmylou Harris as a primary influence. Alongside Harris and the spacy dream pop of Lynch’s albums with the new wave siren Julee Cruise, the noisily experimental tendencies of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-era Wilco, and the navel-gazing angst of a generation of Bright Eyes disciples all are revealed in Wild Sweet Orange’s nervy but entirely accessible music.
The core of the band — excellently named lead singer and primary songwriter Preston Lovinggood, bassist Garret Kelly, and drummer Chip Kilpatrick — grew up together in the suburbs of Birmingham, and have played together in bands off and on since they were in elementary school.
After Lovinggood dropped out of college, he, Kelly and Kilpatrick added guitarists Matt Parsons and Taylor Shaw to form Wild Sweet Orange, apparently swiping the name from a brand of tea. (Shaw and Kilpatrick also have a more traditional singer/songwriter side project, the Great Book of John, as an outlet for Shaw’s songwriting and vocals.) Managers Tim Dwyer and Ken Glanton signed Wild Sweet Orange to their new Earfood Records label in 2005; the label’s first release was the House of Regret EP in early 2006. Wild Sweet Orange’s debut full-length, We Have Cause to Be Uneasy, was released in the fall of the same year. – Stewart Mason