The genre-bending Michigan band The Accidentals has made nearly every magazines’ Top 10 list for 2017.
The accolades have been plenty since The Accidentals released their debut album, Odyssey, on August 18, via Sony Masterworks. Blending folk, pop and bluegrass, multi-instrumentalists Sav Buist and Katie Larson, along with drummer Michael Dause, admit that the attention is exciting yet daunting.
“It’s been incredibly humbling,” Buist says. “When we signed with Sony Masterworks, we were amazed by its lineup—Branford Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma—and so many others. We were shocked that Sony would allow us to come into their family. These musicians have amazing histories and amazing stories and music. We’re honored but daunted to be a part of it.
“We have to prove ourselves a little with our first album.”
Co-produced by Buist, Larson and Dause with engineer Jason Lehning at Asheville, North Carolina’s Echo Mountain Recording, Odyssey includes the title track as well as additional singles, “Memorial Day” and “KW,” featuring Keller Williams. Oher special guests on the album include Jenny Conlee of The Decemberists and Kaki King.
The Accidentals are celebrating Odyssey with a tour that comes to the MIM this month.
“That room is crazy,” Dause says. “It is the best-sounding room I’ve ever stepped foot in.”
“We were geeked because we didn’t see the whole museum,” Buist adds. “I think it’s impossible to see in one day. It’s such a unique spot. We always try to seek out museums on the road. The MIM is a really cool spot. Arizona is such the opposite of Michigan: the state’s beautiful. We had a great experience with Martin Sexton. The landscape is beautiful. It’s super warm. I think we’re all ready to head out there.”
For the jaunt, The Accidentals have been practicing the new songs that will prove its penchant for experimentation.
“One thing we try to capture in moving in this genreless direction is going from funk to jazz to pop to rock to folk songwriter. We’ve been able to upgrade our live shows, thanks go sponsors. Plus, we do our best to tell stories from the road, and stories behind some of the songs.”
Since bonding during a high school orchestra event at Traverse City East High School (Michigan) and Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan, The Accidentals have performed more than 1,000 live shows, including headline dates and festival sets. Besides Sexton, they have shared the stage with Brandi Carlile, Andrew Bird, The Wailers and Joan Baez. South the Southwest’s 2015 chapter saw The Accidentals hailed by Billboard for “displaying a genre-hopping range of influences and some smart songwriting skills to go with their abundant musical chops.”
“We definitely want to be flexible and do different styles of music,” Larson says. “But it’s hard for the record label to market when you don’t feel you belong in any niche. Sony fully supported that decision. We just have to prove we can sell something that crosses all the boundaries.”
The Accidentals, Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, 480.478.6000, mim.org, 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 22, $22-$32.