Warden and Co. makes music that immediately feels familiar, yet there is something that makes it sound fresh and brand new at the same time. On first listen, it seemed immediately like an old favorite from our collection, yet their brand new album, “Somewhere,” was just released earlier this month. The Americana/roots-rock/folk trio — vocalist/guitarist Seth Warden, violinist/vocalist Doug Moody, and drummer Brian Melick — wows on this new release, which is a collection of songs that will stay with you long after you listen, timeless and evergreen, compelling and well-crafted.
Vents Magazine sat down with frontman Seth Warden to talk about the album, and we took a deep dive into the single, “Middle of Madness,” including its inspiration, and the timely lyrics. We chatted about the band’s sound, the impact that their hometown of Saratoga Springs has had on the music, and what’s next for this amazing group.
Hi Seth! Warden and Co. has an amazing new album that just came out. What can you tell us about it?
Thanks for listening! Nine out of the 11 songs were written over quarantine, and two of the songs are significantly older. “Without a Word” and “Living for Love” have been around for decades and just hadn’t found their time until now. The second single and title track, “Somewhere,” is the most special song on the album for me as my daughter, LOVELLA, sings on the second half of the song with me.
One of the singles from your new album, “Middle of Madness,” is really special and caught my attention right away. It’s a great listen. Can you talk to us more about this song? How did you come to write it? What was the inspiration behind it?
“Middle of Madness” is a very clear reflection of what was happening in our world when I wrote the song. It’s rare that I write about my direct personal experiences — normally, I write about stories or events that inspire me — but this one came straight from my reality. It started on an acoustic guitar early one morning, and it began writing itself. We all felt so uncertain and afraid that I didn’t have to search far for the lyrics to this song. It was exactly how I was feeling and still am, to some extent.
How was the recording process for that song? Any great stories from the studio? How did the song come together?
Recording “Middle of Madness” was therapeutic! We had to make sure that the tempo of the song matched the emotion of the song, which was a theme on this album. Tracking started with Brian Melick performing his drums/percussion instruments, and we built the song in layers from there. I tracked acoustic guitars and vocals before we brought Doug Moody in to record violin and his vocal harmonies. Engineer/producer/bass player Chris Carey really brought the songs to life with his mixing and sounds, and this song is no exception. Once we heard the rough mix, we knew it would be a single on this album!
Do you have a favorite lyric line or two in this song? What about those words really works for you or speaks to you?
The lyric “when you’re dying to climb, just to watch it fall” has several meanings to me but speaks directly to the hypocrisy that we face within humanity. “I canceled my cable, I turned off the news, I’m wise and I’m able, and it’s time to choose” — that line reflects the feelings and actions that I faced as a father and a husband to protect my family when faced with corrupted media outlets.
What do you hope listeners get from hearing the song?
I hope they find words that hit home within themselves so that they can create meaningful conversations with friends and family.
Your sound mixes up different genres — there’s your Americana side, your roots rock side, even a bit of folk thrown in for good measure. The result is really fantastic. The music sounds classic but also really fresh at the same time, very “new-old,” which we love. How did you settle upon the “Warden and Co.” sound? And how would you describe your sound, using one sentence?
Thank you so much! That is exactly what we were hoping for when we recorded this album. The three of us come together musically from many different genres and backgrounds, and they all show up in the music that we create together.
The one sentence that describes our sound: Warden and Co., much like the Traveling Wilburys, are a collection of voices and acoustic instruments that have no boundaries on where they might take you.
You are based in Saratoga Springs. How do you think living there and any other places you have lived has impacted your sound and your music overall? How has it shaped your music?
Saratoga Springs could literally be the next Seattle scene from the 1990s! There is so much musical talent in our area and so much inspiration. We are only a few hours from NYC and Boston, so we are frequently visited by artists from outside the area as well. All of this helps shape the music that we create.
What else is happening next for you?
We are seeking booking agencies to schedule performances outside of our East Coast roots, so the plan is to take the show on the road! Peace and harmonies!
Artist website: https://wardenandcompany.com/