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6/21/19 — Downtown

Jacob Hamilton

Photography by   Emiley Creates, LLC.

Photography by Emiley Creates, LLC.

It’s me -- Chels.

This is my first Wendlo blog, so hello!

We’re one sleep away from releasing Downtown (unless you’re staying up until midnight tonight…) and I’ve got butterflies. Mostly the good kind though.

To celebrate its release, I’ll share a little story for ya. 

One night back in January, Jacob was sitting here at the desk fiddling with some sounds and I was in the bedroom (barely 8 feet away behind a door). I’m used to this by the way—hearing noises and clicks and humming around a computer. It’s a creative process that Jacob exercises often. Mostly I don’t pay attention to it but I heard something through the wall that night that caught my attention. I set my book down and stood with my ear to the door. I listened for awhile and eventually poked my head out to ask if I could join the party (as if I hadn’t already been listening for 15 minutes). He proceeded to play me the first draft of what was soon to be called “Downtown.” Let me tell you, I’ve never felt so understood. Hearing Downtown for the first time was me feeling as if Jacob understood me for the first time. It was my life in a song, my metamorphosis up until now. 

Growing up in Alaska, I had pictures in my head of what moving to a big city would be like. Those thoughts carried an air of refined urbanism—what I thought living in the city would be like—that was counter to the rural Alaskan life I always knew. When Jacob and I got married, the first place we lived was a wide open third-floor loft overlooking the west side of Atlanta’s skyline. That view made living in a city feel all too real because it was wildly different than what I grew up seeing outside my window. Didn’t know I could love it so much.

When Jacob sang me his lyrics for the first time, I didn’t have anything to add, or change, or tweak. I felt like he had been listening and watching me evolve, and he captured that evolution so well. So thanks, Jacob, for writing this song and paying attention to me.

Downtown is unique in a lot of ways, but I don’t want to skip over the fact that this is the first Wendlo song that has Jacob produced and mixed on his own, making it even more special. This song is dear to us and I hope it becomes dear to you. Or you at least just like it. Summer bop here we go!

1/6/18 — (from Taproom)

Jacob Hamilton

Top of the year to ya!

Feels like I haven't written since las...okay, not gonna do it. 

Here's what we've been doing since we last checked in:

•We played at CreativeMornings!
•We played at Smith's Olde Bar!
•WE RELEASED Wendlo's First Christmas IN ALASKA!
•We played in the 99x Original Series at Tannery Row and Rock 'N Taco!
•We played in the Songwriters' Shootouts at EOP and Eddie's Attic!
•We played a Friendsgiving house show!
•We played at Taproom again!
•We played at the MadLife Undiscovered Artist Showcase!
•We took a lil' holiday break!

Those are a few of the highlights.  We've received abundant love and help from so many friends that we could never thank them all, but here are some of the ones who made the last few months possible for Wendlo: Kaylynn Crites, Kris and Charity Carmody, Derek Haukaas, Sara Anderholm, Tito DeJesus, Ainsley McKinney, Moses Sohn, Cole Carmody, Ryan and Sarah Christopher, Lauren Scott, Ben Brinker, Will Funderburke, Shane Denmark...just to name a few.  You guys...thank you.

I've been referring to the four month span from October-January as "competition season" (which is annoying and sounds WAY more "snobby pageant-girl" than I want it to 🙄) because SOMEONE (me) signed us up for a bunch of songwriting showcase events because It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.  Beyond January 28th when we play at Tannery Row for the 99x Original Series finale, we have no more competitions on the horizon.  (Phewf)  We've had a lot of fun and been introduced to some solid songwriters and artists we woulnd't have met otherwise, and it has definitely stretched us as songwriters and performers.  But as we all agree, "the very idea of something as personal and objective as songwriting (or art, in general) as a competition is asinine."  Even so, it really has helped us grind.  We finally managed to start and finish writing a song together!  A lovely little number we call Better Man Now.  We're excited to release it later this year. 

Speaking of later this year, we're working toward our first tour, and our full-length album.  We're trying not to get ahead of ourselves, while also realizing that we are our own borders.  We only have ourselves to get past.


10/17/17 — from Taproom

Jacob Hamilton

What up, fam.

Wow, we've had such a busy month-and-a-half since I last checked in. We've played in 2 more songwriting competitions and won them both. *beams* Definitely don't know how except for my default answer which is that "Chelsea is a great songwriter." And she is. I'm thankful we can share music with each other and then share it with other people.

We played at Bare Roots Farmacy in Columbus, GA last Saturday. It was our first roadtrip on our own as Wendlo*. It was cool but I wish I hadn't been trying to run sound through an interface. Learn from my over-zealousness: simple is better**.

As a part of winning the weekly Original Series presented by 99x at Tannery Row last week, we had our first radio play on Sunday Night. *beams again* It was surreal. We went for a drive—top down—with our dear friend Kaylynn. I had my first bubble tea. (Actually I had Kaylynn's bubble tea because apparently you aren't very good at picking a flavor when it's your first bubble tea. Taro—you want taro.) We sat in a parking deck overlooking Atlanta after Soft Spot played and listened to Christmas Music maybe just a little too early***. We are playing at another Original Series event tonight and we're excited as always to share music with people.

Speaking of sharing music with people, I'm super happy to announce that this weekend, we will FINALLY be recording a cover video, featuring the very lovely aforementioned Kaylynn Crites. *beams again some more* Be on the will be the first of many more videos to come, but that's all I'll say for now.


*Technically we drove from Anchorage to Seward which was a longer drive, but it was with the support of our band and not a show we planned on our own...our friend's at the label booked that date. So this one had a special feel to us, as being something we "built with our bare hands" if you will.

**I'm definitely not heeding my own advice in 3 weeks when we play at Smith's Olde Bar.

***There is no time that is too early for Christmas music, as long as Christmas is less than a year away.

8/29/17 — from Taproom

Jacob Hamilton

Hello. And congratulations! You've made your way through the miry internet and found our fledgling website, which is every bit as up-and-coming as we are.

I'd love to pour my heart all over your computer screen from time to time. This blog will read as a delicious menu of upcoming events, an outlet for post-performance swooning, and a behind-the-scenes look at Wendlo. I'll try to keep things cas(ual. How the heck do you spell the first half of that word?) and Chelsea will make us sound more profesh. (That one's much easier)

One thing before I go: Chelsea and I are really happy that we have this band as an outlet for our creativity together, and we want to use it as a way to be real and bring people together. We're genuinely anti-instalife—that polished, hyperbolic exaggeration of persona we're almost all socially culpable for promoting. That's not to say that we shouldn't all strive to put our best [foot, feet, blogs, photography, music, beer, carpentry, honesty, accounting, marketing, sincerity, web design, graphic design, attitude, scent] forward, but rather that perfect is not synonymous with best. It's a lesson we're learning one day at a time, and we hope that our music—and through it, our hearts—will display that hard-fought truth.

So keep it real. Stay tuned and stay woke.