What do you get when you mix together three lead singers, guitar, cello, a suitcase drum and various toy instruments? Nobody knows for sure but it’d probably sound something quite like Brooklyn trio Bandits on the Run, who are opening for Deer Tick and the Avett Brothers at Summerfest in Wisconsin this weekend.
A good time to release your a new single, right? They certainly thought so – it’s been hanging around for long enough, at least. The polyphonic urgency of ‘Radio’ predates 2021’s Now is the Time! EP by around a year, written during the initial covid lockdown. You can see why they held on to it for a while, but they decided to go all in on that sense of confinement.
Per cellist/vocalist Sydney Shepherd: “‘Radio’ was written in a time when I felt like I was living in a fun house mirror. I was dealing with intense feelings of anxiety, dissociation, and dread about the state of the world and the state of my place in it. Many songwriters talk about songwriting as therapy, and I suppose that’s true in this case, though it felt a bit more like expelling demons — and does simultaneously reveling and revolting in your own inner world of absurdity count as a coping mechanism? Who’s to say? I do know the bones of this song poured out of me all at once, and afterward, I felt lighter, freer. I shared it with Adrian and Regina the very day it was born, and their brilliant care and thoughts and arrangements crafted it into the beautiful wild entity it is today. We’ve performed this song out many times (after I got over the weirdness of singing a Bandits song without a cello in my hand), and many folks have come up to us after shows and expressed a kinship with this song, and gratitude for giving a safe space to work out some darkness and dance with their own skeletons.”
As you’ll see in the video, premiering below, co-director Joshua Gelb managed to fit them in a closet for this clip. Naturally, it was shot as a vertical video. Check it out below and keep an eye on Bandits on the Run in the meantime – this is their second single of the year, and hopefully we won’t be waiting long for their next move.