The Last Bison has stampeded down from the mountaintop and landed in the wild lands, inhabiting world rhythms, ambient oases and crystalline stone cathedrals that echo out into the night. After recording sessions in 2014 that polished their more pastoral arrangements into larger visions for their last full-length album VA and subsequent follow-up EP Dorado, The Last Bison has since gone through a lineup change and pushed even further into a grander sonic landscape that they’ve felt their arrangements always deserved.
Their forthcoming fourth album SÜDA was tracked at Collector studios in Norfolk, VA in the summer of 2016, with new faces on board and a new goal in mind: to expand their songs into creations that more closely matched the sounds that they hear in their own heads every day. SÜDA is a continuance of the spirit that birthed their breakout album Inheritance and VA, moving their new sonic palette into technicolor.
The focus of the songwriting revolves around the time that singer Ben Hardesty spent as a child, living in Bolivia. While living in South America Hardesty experienced the world through a unique lens. His families time their was split between the city of La Paz, which sits in a canyon at the bottom of the Andes Mountains, and the evergreen and cloud forests of The Yungas. Both places offered different outlets for adventure, be it wandering through the mountainous spires of the valley, getting lost in the lush thickets of the rainforest, or trekking to Incan ruins with his father. Experiencing all this as a child left Hardesty with an understanding that the world he lived in was so much bigger than his roots in Virginia and that knowledge and experience were found everywhere. The songs of SÜDA focus on that gained knowledge and experience, with themes of longing, times remembered, times to come, and the desire for spiritual and tonal catharsis.
The songs of SÜDA are not so much a departure from the previous vision of stark and lush chamber folk, but a broader stroke from the same intimate brush that originally drew fans to the music and members. Now, The Last Bison is ready to express and share the passion that they’ve poured into the project since its inception in 2010. This time, in more fully realized maturity, they’re sharing their hearts anew for the first time, once again.