Streets of Laredo are a close-knit band of family and friends who rolled the dice and relocated from their native New Zealand, settling in Brooklyn to pursue their dream. After penning a song for his brother's wedding, Daniel Gibson, along with brother David and sister-in-law Sarah Jane played one show and skipped over the Pacific, landing in Bushwick and gigging as much as they could. It's an experience that colors the narrative of their new album Wild. The title serves as a personal mantra for the band. "If you're going to take a risk, go all in and just give what you're doing your absolute all," Sarah Jane explained. Which is precisely what Streets of Laredo are doing.
The band recently swung by our place for a giddy new NEXT session. Rounding out their sound with a couple American additions, the five piece powered up their amps for this delightful performance of songs from the album. Daniel and Sarah Jane also told us a lot about the roots of the band, the big daring move to the other side of the planet, and the ups and downs that have followed in its wake. "Ordering a bagel was quite tough work at the time," Daniel joked. "But I think it was a good idea...maybe?" Oh it was.
- And we're Streets of Laredo. - Well, this is my sister-in-law, Sarahjane. She married my older brother who's also in the band. So we're kind of like a little happy family. I have a twin brother. He got married and I started writing this song called 'I'm Living' and I thought it'd be really cool to get Sarah and Dave to work on it with me. And so we kind of worked it up together and we're like, "Hey, this is kind of cool. " And we played it at his wedding and it went really well. And I think that was probably the kind of beginnings of Streets of Laredo. Hello, Baeblemusic. We are Streets of Laredo and this is a song called Silly Bones. La-la-la-la-la-la I wanna break down all my silly bones. And laugh at the pieces I wanna take out all the ones I broke So I can make meaning Shaky souls Get along with silly bones Opposites don't attract silly bones La-la-la-la-la-la I got silly bones La-la-la-la-la-la I got silly bones I wanna dry out all my silly bones. Like an old sailor I'm a scuba diver floating in the sea. A hook without a sinker Yeah, friend or foe Out of joint silly bones Opposites don't attract silly bones I got silly bones And you're scared of it La-la-la-la-la-la You can feel them now When they're rattling I wanna kick around all my silly bones. For my own amusement I wanna take down all the ones I know. So I can feel some friction Shaky souls Get along with silly bones Opposites don't attract silly bones La-la-la-la-la-la I got silly bones And you're scared of it La-la-la-la-la-la You can feel it now When they're rattling La-la-la-la-la-la I got silly bones And you're scared of it La-la-la-la-la-la You can feel them now When they're rattling I wanna break down I wanna break down La-la-la-la-la-la Well I got silly bones And you're scared of it You can feel it now When they're rattling I got silly bones La-la-la-la-la-la I got silly bones - After the wedding we played just one show. It was actually just me, Dave, and Dan at a place called The Whiskey bar in New Zealand. We had actually already decided by the time we did that show that we were going to start a band and we should just do it somewhere with a little bit of adventure. So we decided to move to New York. - I think it was a good idea, maybe. Maybe it was tough moving here but we just kind of had this attitude of just...we just wanted to play music and play any show we could. - And so we just played likea house parties, dive bars. We'd just ask places if we could play and we bumped into a really great community of musicians in Bushwick and just they kind of took us in and started lettings us open for them or play with them and then I guess it just spread and we just took every opportunity we could. - Yeah, we find New Yorkers really friendly actually but it was tough like setting up like landlords and stuff and ordering a bagel was tough work at the start. So we're going to play another song for you guys. This song is called Devil and the Sea. So have a listen and see what you think. Life's a game That I'm trying to master Trippin on snakes Climbing up ladders Sink is in my head Pulling me to the ground Pulling on the doors Pulling down the sound Save your life And I'll try to save mine Teach the child Moving through the tide but I'd wait I moved on I live on the water I'm just trying to live Live off a quarter Sink is in my head Pulling me to the ground Holding on the doors Holding down the sound Save your life And I'll try to save mine Teach the child Moving through the tide but I'd wait Save your mind And I'll try to save mine Lead a child he's a stand-up kind of guy But he went down Teachers try Moving through the tide Young man try To master the sea Waters rise Over me Between the devil and sea Between the devil and sea Save your life And I'll try to save mine Teach the child Moving through the tide but I'd wait Save your mind And I'll try to save mine Lead a child he's a stand-up kind of guy But he went down Just like me Between the devil and the sea Between the devil and the sea Between the devil and the sea - Oh, yeah. - We just released a new record. It's called Wild. - Wild is the name of one of the songs on the album. We chose it because that's kind of like a mentor for us at the moment. If you're going to take a risk, go all in and just give what you're doing your absolute all. So I feel like when we play, it's just a reminder to us to stay the course. - Just being New Zealanders and moving to a new country there's a lot of risks and like high moments and low moments and they're definitely like, yeah it's a strong narrative through the album. - This song's called 99. 9% You better start living You better start breathing I'm not the only one on this train that's leaving When I get older I'll get sober Make the switch from party goer To whistle blower For all the 99. 9 percenters Hoping this gets a little better Oh, you better start singing that authority song I don't know the words but I'll try to sing along You've been lied to Well, I've been lied to, too Not exactly sure if I want to believe you For all the 99. 9 percenters Over 90 I don't mind if you don't mind Name it, call it what you like Village dress to this describe I don't mind if you don't mind. Oh, he's yelling He's yelling at me Tell me something that I don't need Satisfaction it ain't guaranteed Don't worry about it, man You're gonna succeed For all the 99. 9 percenters Over 90 I don't mind if you don't mind Name it, call it what you like Village dress to this describe I don't mind if you don't mind - Thank you for having us, Baeble Music. We're Streets of Laredo. I don't mind if you don't mind Name it, call it what you like Village dress to this describe I don't mind if you don't mind I don't mind if you don't mind Name it, call it what you like Village dress to this describe I don't mind if you don't mind Don't worry about it, now Man, don't worry about it Don't worry about it, now - I think just as a band, we've really grown. We've spent a lot of time playing music together over the last five years. We live in a bit of an incubator where we spend so much time together and record so much together. You really kind of pull the best out of each other and sometimes that's like pretty hard because you'd be like... Sarah would be like, "That sucks. Dan, you suck. " - I would never say that. - No, I'm kidding. She would never say that. - No, but I am proud that we have - Yeah. - that we still...we are in a band together and still still really love each other and enjoy each other. - What people will take away in our music, it's a great question. You're asking...you just get to the core. I love it, yeah. - Well, that's the ticket, I think. Make them laugh or make them cry, make them dance or make them cry, feeling better. - Yeah, there's definitely dancy ones, trippy young players. But yeah we want to make you dance. We want to make you kind of think about things. We want to make you... - Move you in some way. - Move you in some way. - Make you feel something. - Yeah. Hey everyone. We're Streets of Laredo. - And you're watching Baeble Music.
Streets of Laredo is a sing-a-long collision of jangling harmonies, stomping percussion, horns, guitars, and more crazy instruments than you can shake a sampler at.
Founded by close-knit family members Daniel, Dave and Sarahjane Gibson and inspired by the fervour and madness of the 70s folk-rock circuit, the band was born out of trying to escape the mundane everyday working life. Older brother Dave tells the story, Both Dan and I had done the hard yards in bands in New Zealand but we were worn out and a little lost by it all. And broke. I was running this t-shirt company and Dan walks in one day to tell me that hes finished with music and hes gonna go get a real job. All of a sudden my 'big brother instinct kicks in and rather than see this young songwriter throw it all away, I gave him a job doing t-shirt orders, and we started working on demos and writing songs together, pretty much day and night from then on in.
Refining their sound and songs one holiday weekend at a beach house on the New Zealand coast, the Gibsons started to fashion a sound that was equal parts folk storytelling and psychedelic madness. Sonically we wanted to stay true to our long list of influences, but we wanted to screw it up as well - kinda twisty, like Paul Simon on bad acid. With just one home-town show under their belt, a handful of demos and a whole lot of hope, they took the plunge and decided to move halfway around the world. Fast forward to the summer of 2012 and Streets of Laredo in a rehearsal space in Brooklyn NY with a guitar, a drum-machine and no money, trying to figure out what comes next. And what came next was songs, lots of 'em.
Sarahjane describes the feeling, Id never lived overseas before, let alone in a city like New York, so the sense of isolation and homesickness - coupled with excitement and the unknown - was hugely overwhelming. But pretty soon all of these emotions were turning into lyrics and songs that were really about being a brand new immigrant in America. I mean, the only thing we really knew was that wed finally made it to New York, we were making music, and we sure as hell werent about to leave.
Quickly adding fellow countryman Thom Darlow and local Brooklynites Sean McMahon and Andrew McGovern to the mix, this now rambling, multi-instrumental, seven-piece started to craft a dance-inducing mix of vocal hooks, beats and wild sounds that saw the New York music scene embrace them as their own - building a firm reputation in the music halls of Brooklyn and the Lower East Side for playing danceable, crazy songs that kept fans coming back for more - not to mention seeing the band feted as a must-see act at both CMJ and SXSW. Dan sums it up nicely, It all started with the song Girlfriend. We'd started writing that song before we left New Zealand so it had idealistic hints of what we thought this place would be like - but after living in Brooklyn for a while it took on a whole other layer, kinda like a mistress that can be unfaithful and hard to deal with but also a lot of fun - and that kind of informed the writing of what would become our debut record."