The Arcadian Wild makes itself at home musically: bluegrass, country, classical, pop. Its new album is making room for all kinds of influences to help listeners feel welcome.
The genre-blending string trio will be sharing music from new album, “Welcome,” released March 31, during Thursday’s show at the Southern Cafe and Music Hall with Luke Richard Powers. Guitarist and singer Isaac Horn and mandolinist and singer Lincoln Mick, the band’s primary songwriters, team up with fiddler Bailey Warren to explore everything from formal vocal harmonies to expressive folk.
Each member brings a variety of musical influences to create a sound that’s easy to embrace, but less so to explain. “Defining what we sound like has been one of the hardest things about being in this band,” Horn said with a chuckle.
“I grew up listening to punk, pop and rock music. I grew up singing in choir, too,” Horn told The Daily Progress. “We had the traditional stuff, as we play traditional instruments.”
Warren said she grew up listening to bluegrass and Americana.
The three musicians work together on arrangements to display each song at its best. Vocal harmonies are at the heart of the creative process, adding nuance and power to simple ideas.
“Whoever originated the song sings it,” Horn said. “Where it starts and where it ends up are always drastically different — and for the better.”
The collaborative arrangement process shaped the songs the trio wrote and recorded for “Welcome” in its hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Before long, the songs began to find natural places to fit into the track sequence.
Newer songs often ended up displacing songs that had been written during the pandemic. By the time the trio entered the recording studio, “so much time had passed and so many other songs had entered the picture,” Horn said, adding that some pandemic-era tunes “were stained by the context in which they were written.”
“Whenever the pandemic was at its height, we tried the livestream,” Horn said. “The shine wore off pretty quickly for us, but it was a way for us to try out new music.”
Performing in front of audiences again is a joy, Warren said.
“There’s definitely a new sense of gratitude, that’s for sure,” she said. “It’s easier not getting bogged down by touring. We have a lot of appreciation for our audiences.
“The whole ‘Welcome’ theme is us trying to invite the audience into our shows. We really want them to feel welcome.”
The trio looks forward to performing for its Charlottesville audience, because its most recent local performance, during the pandemic, was a small one.
“Last time we were in Charlottesville, it was a weeklong residency at UVa,” Horn said. “One of the reasons they asked us was because we could be outside with acoustic instruments. And nobody knew who we are.”
Tickets are $25 at the door and $22 in advance. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for Thursday’s 8 p.m. show. Learn more at thesoutherncville.com.