Wild metaphorical music that rocks” (Oregon Music News) has been used to describe the sound of Alexa Wiley & the Wilderness, a Portland-based band with an abundance of local musical roots.
Alexa Wiley is the singer-songwriter who nourishes the band’s unique blend of meaningful lyrics surrounded by the fully realized Americana-rock of Bret Malmquist, lead guitarist; Steve Dearborn, multi-instrumentalist; Sean Oldham, drums; and Dale Turnbull, bass.
The 2018 collaboration Planted is a collection of original songs that borrow from a wide array of genres and musical expressions. Continuing the momentum of their eponymous debut work Alexa Wiley & the Wilderness from 2015, the songs featured on Planted oscillate between varying styles, but are tied together with themes of the search for meaning in our hurried, modern world. Songs such as “Rush Hour” (slow traffic inspired), “Diggin” (love song for death), and “Get It Right” (country rock) create a varied texture to explore.
Alexa Wiley, her voice a cross between Joni Mitchell and a female Tom Petty, nourishes the band’s unique blend of meaningful lyrics surrounded by the fully realized Americana-rock of the Wilderness an inspired group of musicians who create sonic transcendence in their sets—the instruments and voices fused in service of the song.
Listen to an interview with Alexa by Inessa Anderson about the ‘Art of Getting Lost.’
Inspired by place
Alexa has lived in Portland since she was 6 years old and her music is inspired by connections to our shared place in the Pacific Northwest. Her first major foray into place-based artistic collaboration was the co-produced Salmon Nation Artist Project.
Through her friendly collaboration with fisherman and poet Dave Densmore, Alexa teams her melodies with Dave’s rough and real poetry to capture moments of transcendent relevance in a show they call For the Love of Fish. Alexa and Dave’s blend of artistic virtues form a complementary lyrical dialogue addressing the difficult environmental choices facing our contemporary Northwest community.
Fast-forward to Alexa’s collaboration with the Wilderness and you find yourself possessed by the musical moment, where consciousness collides into wild forays of existential folk-rock.
Alexa Wiley & the Wilderness band debut album came out in 2015,. This is Alexa’s third album on Red Newt Records and second project produced by Greg Williams. Alexa was featured in Oregon Music News March 2015 issue, Celebrating Women in Music. ”
“I have to say it is a master work. I cannot stop listening to it….” – Lisa Lepine
Her second album as a Red Newt recording artist, Poet of Empty Spaces (2012), is a world colored with sharp songwriting, the musical textures of accomplished accompaniment, and the master crafting of producer Gregg Williams.
Eating That Way (2008), Alexa’s first recording on the Red Newt label, produced by Jim Brunberg above the old Mississippi Studios, explores the oftentimes melancholy world of spiritual crossroads and has a rich acoustic feel.