An Austin duo performed one of the first sets at the 2017 Austin City Limits Music Festival and achieved a dream they say is still crazy to think about.
“I’ve never had that much fun in my life,” said vocalist Taylor Baker of the band The Wild Now. “If you would have told me as a kid that [I] would be playing ACL one day, I would’ve been like naahh [sic].”
Baker, who grew up in the Lake Travis neighborhood of Austin and her bandmate, Drew Walker, a multi-instrumentalist from Houston, summoned a crowd of early festival-goers with their “breezy, indie-pop” sound which they’ve coined “indie-gelato”.
“I’ve been to this festival nine times, and I’ve always wanted to play this festival,” expressed Walker.
After a few warmup songs that included tropical rifts, synths and trumpet melodies, coupled with the soothing vocals of Baker, it didn’t take long for the crowd to voice their approval of the hometown band. It was something Walker said he hasn’t experienced before.
Photos: Austin band The Wild Now performs at ACL Fest 2017
“There were moments when they were cheering and I did not expect them to cheer. I was like wait,” Walker said. “You’re cheering right now? Alright, cool. We’re not even finished with the song, but alright cool!”
The Wild Now formed four and a half years after Baker and Walker met at a SXSW show. The pair said after winning the American Songwriter’s Sole Performer Award in 2014, they decided to continue playing music and developed their sound with the help of some other local Austin talent.
“We want people to feel all the vibes -- just all the feels. We want to take them from feeling excited and happy and like dancey [sic], to really touching a place in their heart,” Baker said. “This song makes me feel like something in my soul. I want to take them to the highs and the lows. It can be exhausting going to a show where it’s constantly upbeat and then going to a show where it’s just really sleepy. I like to take them on a roller coaster.”
Walker and Baker say they’re definitely influenced by Austin’s live music scene, and get a lot of inspiration by attending shows in their spare time. Austin bands like Missio, who also played a Friday morning set at the ACL Music Festival 2017, and Canvas People are friends and creative boosts for the up and coming duo.
“There’s just such a great, strong community here,” said Walker. “Anytime that we’re not feeling inspired, we go outside and we’re instantly inspired because everyone’s playing music.”
So far, the band has only put out an Extended Play (EP), but have received the clear to pursue a full album. Once that’s achieved, the pair said the obvious next step would be to get signed to a label, so that they can pursue their dreams full time.
Right now, Walker and Baker both work day jobs in Austin’s bustling tech scene.
“I want to do this all over the world. I want to play in a different city every couple of days, and just be on tour. I want to play my music for everyone,” said Walker
Check out The Wild Now's single "Run for Your Life" here.