Buffalo Gospel possesses the uncanny ability of writing material that manages to be both immensely gorgeous and devastatingly sad. With an unmistakable nod to classic country and a penchant for bleary, booze-soaked emotion, the band found well-warranted local consciousness with its timeless and tragic 2013 record We Can Be Horses before chasing it with a lovelorn “Here Lies Our Lovin’” last year. Ryan Necci calls Buffalo Gospel’s forthcoming two-song EP, Waiting For The Lights To Go Out, a “small point on a long line that we’ve been traveling.” The singer suggests the release (out this weekend) functions as a cathartic clearinghouse for he and his counterparts, who have waded through a deluge of sadness, loss, and are grappling with artistic uncertainty.
“Burn everything that’s left,” Necci says. “Sometimes, you lose something or someone—or a few someones—and it knocks your wind out for a bit. You stand around stunned and tongue-tied for a few days…or months. You stop shaving as often and go a few more wears without washing your jeans. You tattoo your skin to remind you of the someones when you catch yourself staring at nothing in front of the bathroom mirror. You wear out your Nebraska record and you wear out the knees of those dirty jeans from praying that you didn’t forget how to do what came so easily before. You cry your eyes blind and drink your throat raw.”
A little over three months ago, Necci, Kevin Rowe, Ryan Ogburn, and Christopher Porterfield convened in what was once the Schwabenlander feed mill in the small Ozaukee County town of Belgium to play. What began as an acoustic session swiftly found the foursome fleshing out the majority of both songs. With the percussive contribution of Nick Lang (The New Seven) and sibling string accompaniment of John and Rebecca Patek, Necci says the pair of powerful and wrenching compositions was knocked out in “just a few takes” in Ryan Elliot’s 77 Productions studio. Even if Waiting For The Lights To Go Out only marks a few labored steps on Buffalo Gospel’s ongoing journey, listeners can take selfish comfort in hearing the output grow more beautiful as the path becomes more arduous. Listen to Waiting For The Lights To Go Out now, only at Milwaukee Record.
Buffalo Gospel will release Waiting For The Lights To Go Out at Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. on Saturday, December 5. Hello Death and Christopher Porterfield will open. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the door.