Raven and the Wren formed amid a struggling but vibrant original music scene in early 2015, in a place nicknamed Happy Valley, where cloudy days and rainfall rival Seattle. While honing her vocal and songwriting skills in local basement pubs, Natty Lou also began putting the band together, gradually bringing in the rest of Raven and the Wren, week by week, to her regular Tuesday night gig. Jason “Junior” Tutwiler and Chris Rattie had landed back in town after touring the US for a few years and working with producer Don Was in their former band, The Rustlanders. Bob Hart moved to central PA from Brooklyn, where he continues to be part of the Indie and Jazz scenes, playing with artists such as Clare and The Reasons, Kat Edmonson, and Van Dyke Parks. The buzz was almost immediate after their first show together and those otherwise quiet Tuesday nights started to become something not to be missed. Talk of making a record began on the band’s set break while they shared a cigarette. They had been playing together for about an hour, but the chemistry was obvious.
“I think throughout every genre of music there’s ‘woe is me, he or she broke my heart, daddy left me, no one loves me,’ but I tend to steer away from that,” she said. “The songs on this album are more about how I messed up, how I broke someone’s heart, how I have shame or guilt or was unfaithful. I’m not afraid to go there. I’ll be the first to admit my mistakes. People are very quick to talk about the wrong done unto them, but they don’t want to talk about the wrongdoing they’ve done unto others.”
It’s this uncompromising commitment to truth, to reality, that lies at the heart of Raven and the Wren. The band is the creation of four people who live and breathe music, who are honest about their passions, and who have carved from that honesty an album that will stand the test of time. Make no mistake, though the songs may be aphotic and pensive, this is no shoe-gazer band. Self pity has no place here. Raven and the Wren bring beauty and joy, looking into the unlit corners and staring down the darkness.