Among friends, the general consensus has been that 2014 was an unsatisfactory year. Perhaps due to a challenging collection of planetary aspects, maybe the steady deterioration of our tech-obsessed society; for whatever reason, most of the people I’ve stumbled into are anxious to close the book on the last 365 days.
The outlier here is the six-piece group Apache Relay, whose year brought innumerable signs of well-deserved success. Since 2009 the group has gained steady momentum, laboriously touring across the country opening for groups including Mumford and Sons, playing nationwide festivals, and accumulating a wide and devoted fan base. They released their self-titled album in April of this year, and received an ample amount of critical acclaim, especially for their catchy, influenced single, “Katie Queen of Tennessee.” The entire album reads as a progression in the band’s maturity, adding an ample dose of sixties-pop arrangements a la Phil Spector production to a previously distinctive Americana sound. On what we can expect from the group in the future, mandolin and keys player Brett Moore emphasizes the desire to continue to take risks, cultivating a sound that expresses the band’s chemistry and interested within the given moment. “If I could make a personal new year’s resolution for the band, I would like to make a record in the exact opposite way,” he says. “And by that I mean go into a studio with all six of us in the room live- no overdubs or extremely minimal overdubs and make like the antithesis of this most recent record.” It is this adventurous passion for crafting music, revealing different angles of their collective personality, that have drawn such a large audience into the meticulously crafted and masterfully catchy sounds of Apache Relay.
On their year of success, Brett cites their most recent tour with native-Nashvillians The Wild Feathers as the highlight of the year. “It was a great time together seeing the country and playing for folks,” he tells us. “That was sort of inspiring too- it got me back into the mindset of ‘wow let’s write some new music- let’s keep moving forward and progressing.’”
Despite relentless cross-country touring, and an upcoming tour with The Weeks in The UK, the men of Apache Relay still call Nashville home. “I never, ever get tired of coming home to Nashville,” Brett says. “Despite all the changes that people complain about a lot these days, I just love being here. It’s a really pleasant place to live, and a really nice community of people of all ages.
This Wednesday night, they play Broadway’s New Years Eve Bash. The group’s last performance in Nashville was also downtown, on the 4th of July. These rare performances in town from a band that has taken the country by storm make the New Year’s Eve Base an absolute must-see to ring in 2015.