With roots in blue-collar New Jersey suburbs, where kids stare at the bright lights of Manhattan with a begrudging mix of disdain and desire, Wyland brings its talent to the City’s threshold as they hold their much anticipated EP release party this Saturday night at Maxwell’s in Hoboken.
Of course getting from the streets of Kearny to the stage at Maxwell’s requires overcoming more than just traffic.
Drawing from influences of early U2, Peter Gabriel and The Police, Wyland cloak the depth of their lyrics in warm pop overtones to create the sort of “optimistic, reflective music” heard in songs like “Wait,” “Shine” and “Lifeboats.”
The result is a melodic sound that has them on the fast track to success, as they look to fuel up on the positive energy they’ve already generated here in Hoboken.
“The music landscape can be quite overwhelming when you stop and think about all of the talent out there,” says singer/songwriter Ryan Sloan. “One thing you can bet on is that the music will find an outlet. For us, we migrated to the city—and whenever we were in Hoboken, it was Northern Soul or an open mic at bwe Kafe.”
When the chance came to launch their new album on the newly restored Maxwell’s stage, Wyland saw it a dream come true. “From the moment we began recording this EP, we talked about having the release party at Maxwell’s. Let’s just say we were determined to perform there,” says Sloan. “It’s funny too because our guitarist Mauricio, a California native, had only heard of two venues from New Jersey: The Stone Pony and Maxwell’s.”
Call it the appeal of pragmatism, there’s something about artists from New Jersey that speaks to audiences nationwide and beyond. “I think it lies in the foundation of who New Jersey people are. Most of us are blue-collar people—born and raised—and that mentality bleeds through everything we do, including the music.”
Blue-collar means hard work, but that’s not always enough. It takes encouragement and recognition for a band to elevate from the local scene to a broader audience.
“I think the best way for communities to nurture up-and-coming artists is to simply support them,” says Sloan. “They can do that by attending local events where the artists are performing and/or like in Hoboken, they can put on a town Arts & Music festival where they can showcase local talent as well as possibly national talent.”
A rising tide lifts all ships—an important thing to remember in an old dock town like Hoboken.
“Our event at Maxwell’s is an end of sorts and certainly a new beginning for the band. After we release our EP, we’re immediately getting back into the studio to work on new material. In March, we’re touring down to SXSW, hitting cities like Baltimore, DC, Nashville & Austin. We’re ending the tour by opening up for Everclear and Taking Back Sunday at the ACBeerFest in Atlantic City, followed by a couple more festivals in the US and a couple outside the country.”