Although their third and latest LP (Entropy) came out in 2018, North Carolina folk-pop outfit The Collection have been dropping one-off pandemic singles for the past year-and-a-half, including “Blue Day,” “Loud,” “GET LOST,” and “Won’t Stop Yet,” which was released earlier this year. The song, a charmingly irreverent anthem of survival, serves as a remarkably poignant commentary on the pandemic, and earned the Saxapahaw-based band a 400% increase in streaming, followers, and fan activity in a week’s time. I recently got a chance to chat with lead singer David Wimbish, who tells me that a new full-length will be out next year. However, The Collection are hitting the road later this week and will be giving the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection two chances to experience their live show. First, the band will be here on August 23rd when they headline The Lounge at World Café Live, and they’ll return on October 13th at The Fillmore, when they’re opening for Sammy Rae & The Friends.
Izzy Cihak: I hate to start with such a big and general question but, considering that The Collection isn’t quite yet a household name, is there anything you think is especially important for fans and potential fans to know about you?
David Wimbish: At our deepest core, we care about authenticity – about really showing up as yourself, no matter how much your community reject you for it, people think you’re stepping “out of line,” or that you’ve “lost your way.” Our music is very much about that; about honesty and trying to show up even when you know life can be real rough a lot of the time, and that the people we show up as might not be our imagined optimal selves. We try to create a space for that at our shows, too.
Izzy: This is a two-part question. What’s the music and arts scene like in Saxapahaw like, and how did you all specifically come together?
David: Saxapahaw has a beautiful arts community. Even though it’s a tiny little unincorporated village, there’s a beautiful mix of dancers, giant-puppet makers, musicians, painters, even NBA basketball players: it’s an eclectic group. There’s a wonderful music venue there, one of our favorite places to play, and they host so many amazing artists, from Sufjan Stevens to Ricky Skaggs. Being surrounded by trees and birds and the river is a really inspiring setting to write. A lot of song ideas have come with me sitting on a picnic table down by the river. As far as the band, each story is a bit unique. Quite a few of us came together in Greensboro, North Carolina several years ago, but we’ve met others along the way who joined. It’s always been a pretty common core principle for us, though, in meeting and having new members join: we have to feel like family.
Izzy: What have been some of the biggest highlights of the band for you, personally?
David: I feel consistently grateful for all the travel we’ve been able to do. I’ve been able to get to know most major cities in the U.S. pretty well, and it’s easy to find common ground with new folks I meet most of the time because I at least partially know their landscape. That’s pretty huge. I think community has been so huge for us too. We’ve been able to tour with some amazing folks, like Tall Heights and The Oh Hellos, who just immediately became wonderful friends. It’s a joy to have family and homes all across the U.S. just because of this music. Of course, we also just signed a record deal — with Nettwerk — and that’s pretty exciting.
Izzy: Have you noticed patterns amongst your fans and the kinds of people who seem to best get your music?
David: A few years ago, I realized it had become a normal experience to have fans share deeply personal things with us after shows – struggles they were having, trauma from the past, and ways our music had connected to them through it. I’ve really felt our fans are just consistently honest and vulnerable. I’m so grateful for that. They seem to be very kind as well, which makes this so much more fun.
Izzy: It’s been a while since you’ve released a new album, but you’ve put out a number of singles and I understand there is a new album in the works. How would you characterize your latest sounds, and when might fans be able to expect the new LP?
David: The LP will be sometime next year, but we definitely have more music coming this year, too. To me, it feels like “more” of everything, some of the new stuff we’ve recorded. More catchy, more direct, more poetic, more synths and electronic experimentation, more horns and strings, more energy – I think it’s stepping into a new confidence that has taken a lot of years for me and the band to have.
Izzy: What are some of your favorite albums, whether all-time favorites or stuff that you’ve just really been digging recently?
David: Always a tricky question to answer because it fluctuates, but currently loving Harry Styles’ new album so much! Gang of Youths’ record this year was a big one for me and the band as well. LEON, Aurora, and Remi Wolf all released albums this year that have been in my ears non-stop.
Izzy: You’ve got a ton of upcoming dates through October. Are there any cities you’re especially excited to visit or revisit?
David: Each city has such a unique vibe to the shows and the crowds, which I love. Chicago, Boston, Philly, and Austin are definitely big favorites for me – always a very fun show.
Izzy: Finally, you actually have two upcoming shows in Philly, both headlining World Café Life and supporting Sammy Rae & The Friends (of whom I’m actually a huge fan) at The Fillmore. What can be expected of your live show on these dates? Does it vary drastically based on the venue?
David: We’re so excited about both of those shows! It’s nice, too, to get to do a headline show, and also an opening set, because I think they’re pretty different. With the headlining set, we get to go more into some of the softer songs, and spend time with a lot of dynamic range, musically and instrumentally. With the opening sets, we tend to focus more of the energetic songs, which is so fun too – we’re always very sweaty and happy by the end of those sets. Truly can’t wait!
*Get your tickets to 8/23 at World Café Live here.
**Get your tickets to 10/13 at The Fillmore w/ Sammy Rae & The Friends here.