Call the music time-weathered folk or strewn remnants of Americana or something else entirely. Here is what you will hear: Opaque lyrics, at once lonely and longing and hopeful and weary and love-strewn, given breath with explorative structure and melody, and supported by an ensemble of guitar, string bass, cello, viola, drums and found percussion, banjos, accordions, horn, mandolin, and vocal harmonies.
Spirits of the Red City describe themselves as a collective of friends and wandering musicians led by Will Garrison. Dense with musical and cultural influences which span traditional ballads, folk and classical music to avant-garde jazz, the band pulls the best qualities from genres that perhaps don't normally overlap.
Garrison writes his music with a sincere desire to speak to the listener, to share the joy and sadness in life. Spirits work together to create the orchestrations and strive to perform with their one soul that is 'community.' The 'Red City' might be defined as wherever the spirits of the musicians and the spirit of the listener come together, or any definition that the listener finds meaningful.
Spirits' second full length album, Jula, was recorded at La La Land, Kevin Ratterman's Louisville studio, and was released on September 24, 2013, by Denver-based Collectible Records.
"(Spirits of the Red City) plays with the airy intimacy and elegance of a minimalist duo, with wistful themes and relatively spare orchestrations: a simple cello line, a gently strummed guitar or a lonely fiddle. Spirits of the Red City singer Will Garrison has a whiskey-soaked voice that's a little weary but full of honesty and passion."
- National Public Radio
"This album is really incredible. Maybe the most incredible. It's the perfect walk on a tightrope over a snarling pit of emotions. Violent despair, and hissing loneliness, with clawing hopefulness, determination baring it's teeth, and slithering heartbreak. All the while with balance and precision you can safely glide above with full awareness of it all, and coming out a stronger human just for listening. My favorite album this year. Seriously."
- Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers