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Meredith Wilder is an Americana Folk artist of the highest (unknown) caliber currently residing in the appropriate state of Colorado. Her latest solo project, The Coming of the Night, holds the unique ability of covering nearly every range of human emotion. Mel Minter of Musically Speaking writes of Wilder’s latest album:
“Could Wilder be the love child of Loretta Lynn and Leonard Cohen? Her songs have some of Lynn’s country heartache and grit, and like Cohen, she’s befriended desperation, having recognized it as a fellow traveler in the human condition. She also has the determination of each to resist self-delusion and endure the sweet ache of life.”
Indeed, she has also been described as having “the voice of an angel” and “reminiscent of Lera Lynn” as well as dubbed the “Songbird of the Sandias”.
Meredith Wilder’s music is gritty, innocent, cursed, and heart-warming all at the same time. Her first solo album (Self-Titled) is heart-breaking at times, and others it is uplifting. Her lyrics reveal her vulnerability, and, at the same time express heartbreaking hopefulness. Some might describe her first album as combination of Lera Lynn’s grittiness with Zooey Deschanel’s childlike innocence. Her second album, The Coming of the Night, can be considered more grown up, yet Meredith doesn’t lose her innocence and hopefulness. Wilder evokes her own memories in order to transport her listeners through a personal journey, sometimes with despondent intrepidness, and at other times with vivacious jauntiness.
Meredith’s relationship with music fruited at a young age. Growing up Lutheran she loved singing hymns. Naturally she would embrace lyrics and music through her familial support with her father singing her and her sisters to sleep at night. He even played piano and guitar. One listen to an album she is invested in is proof positive of her indefinable friendship with music.
Wilder has an extensive background working with some of the most talented Americana and folk musicians in the country. She is vocalist and guitarist as the front woman in the band Wildewood which released two albums (the self-titled Wildewood and The Other Side) with her friends Alex McMahon (multi-instrumentalist & vocalist) and Greg Williams (drums & harmonica). Meredith has also sung harmonies for folk artist Daniel C. Boling, for songwriter and composer of stages and screens Kevin Hume, for Albuquerque’s own Cali Shaw (formally of the funk band Felonious Groove Foundation), as well as with Albuquerque’s proud folk artist AJ Woods, among many others.
Meredith is one of three songwriters in the two Brush Strokes albums In Medias Res and Day Dreams with Colin Baiollio and Nathan Fetherolf (Brush Strokes is a musical collaboration created over a distance of 1,400 miles). She has also collaborated with Albuquerque’s Sage Harrington to create an album of recorded poems of works by Sara Teasdale set to come out in the near future.
Meredith Wilder doesn’t only sing and strum the guitar—she spreads her gifts and talents to the youth through teaching. She taught singing and piano in Albuquerque for over 2 years at Albuquerque’s Rock 101 before her recent move to Colorado and will continue to teach music in the future. Of teaching music, Meredith says, “I am proud of teaching students for two years and watching their love for music grow”.
Seems as though Meredith makes for a great teacher considering she describes music as:
“…the agony of my soul filtered through the reasoning of my head”
“…(music) gives me validation. When I can reach someone on a deeper level than everyday conversation I feel like I have done something good in the world.”
Not only has Meredith been teaching, and will continue to teach in the future, she also began a songwriting group in Albuquerque to help budding musicians grow, explore new ideas, and help to create structure out of something that can be so chaotic and exhausting as writing music.
Meredith writes about the experience of songwriting:
“I don’t enjoy life when I know there are songs resting in me that I’m not letting out—that I’m not giving it attention…So when other people are counting on it, and I force myself to sit down and get it done, I feel this huge release”
From The Doug Fir in Portland to The Forge in Boulder, this talented musician is no stranger to travelling for her love of music. In 2015 Wildewood played opening performance act for The Handsome Family from The Launchpad in Albuquerque to The Green Frog in Bellingham, WA, as well as The Chapel in San Francisco. Meredith has also had the pleasure of opening for Horse Feathers, Blitzen Trapper, and Shannon McNally (formally of Capitol Records).
Wilder’s gritty and hopeful music has been featured various times on KUNM’s Ear to the Ground (University of New Mexico’s flagship local live music program) and her music has been aired on the listener-supported Art of the Song (brought in part by The Standing O Project) which is featured on over 100 stations across the United States. Art of the Song debuts the “dusky darkness” and “irresistible melodies” of Meredith Wilder’s solo set on August 8th, 2016.
Meredith Wilder was born on July 31st, 1989 in Richmond, VA. She was raised in a small southern Minnesota town, and spent most of her life in Albuquerque, NM before moving to Colorado in 2016. While exploring new musical opportunities as result of her relocation she also hopes to continue to teach music, write and record albums, and live a quiet life with a family of her own.
By Christopher J. Isonhood
Update: Meredith is the recipient of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation artist in residency for summer 2017 in which she will focus on composing new pieces for future albums.