The Last Bison is an up and coming, seven member group out of Virginia. I have spent the last week streaming their entire catalog on Spotify and I feel like the best way to describe their music is “the perfect soundtrack for sitting next to campfire in the woods on a starry night.” This description was only validated when I found out their newest EP Dorado was named after a constellation.
The seven piece ensemble plays so many different instruments I couldn’t list them all. Their earlier work is full of strings from banjos, guitars, mandolin, and a superb violin weaving through it all. This of course leads to an instant comparison to Mumford and Sons, but listening to the progression of their recordings up to the ending with the current EP Dorado the comparison is not accurate. They have added much more percussion which gives it a touch more rock. The heavy beats of the percussion still blend fabulously with the harmonies and strings swelling up in the background. My personal favorite songs are “Bad Country,” “Burdens off of VA” along with “This Changed Everything” and You Are the Only One on Dorado.”
I was lucky enough to catch her live show at The Prophet Bar in Dallas. They had a group of loyal fans present and in the moment of drums, clapping, and jig dancing going on the closest comparison I could come to was almost a Modest Mouse vibe. This band has been around for four years and their stage show is really something to see. With all seven of them and all their instruments crammed onto the tiny stage, they gave a smooth, polished and very cohesive performance. Rolling through crowd favorites like “Switzerland” and others from their entire catalog, the audience sang along with every word even with fun covers like “Magic Carpet Ride.” As I tried to enjoy the music and the energy that was being created I couldn’t keep up with who plays what. They all play multiple instruments and still had time to blend in with great harmony.
The Last Bison played several shows at SXSW this year and are currently doing a North American Tour. Their current independent releases are the full album VA and the EP Dorado and are both available for down load on iTunes. Spread the word, check them out you will be glad you did!
by Reanna Streater