The Milwaukee group Dead Horses sees themselves as a folk-inspired conversation between friends. Since 2010, guitarist and singer Sarah Vos and bassist Daniel Wolff have been creating and sharing music together on the road, that is of course until 2020.
Prior to closing, Dead Horses had maintained a steady touring pace, opening for The Who in September 2019 in Alpine Valley, followed by a festival in Tennessee. On the way home from the festival, they had a serious car accident that totaled the group’s van, but they rented a vehicle the next day and kept pushing and turning.
Their latest EP “Birds” was released in February of last year – just before the coronavirus pandemic canceled all of their shows weeks after a tour began, sending them home to Milwaukee to finally process the events. that had accumulated.
“It was interesting… we didn’t feel a strong urge to really jump into anything,” Wolff recalls. “We saw a lot of other musicians jumping on livestreams and doing stuff like that to keep playing, which was really cool to watch. [But] because of the events at the end of 2019 and then everything that happened in March 2020, Sarah and I just wanted to let him breathe a little bit. “
Taking time to take a break during a time of uncertainty was necessary and refreshing, Wolff adds. “Much of our lives are dead horses, and [the break] got us having conversations like, well, what do we want to do? Fast forward now two years later and we’re getting ready to record another album and I’m very, very excited for that. ”
During the break, Vos said she took a step back from writing and even listening to the amount of music she would normally do. “It was really a palette cleanser almost for me,” she said, “and then towards the end, once things started to fall back into place, I felt super creative.”
Many musicians felt a pressure during the lockdown to use the time to the fullest and create more content. But for Vos? “Absolutely not,” she said categorically.
“I’m pretty stubborn about this. I think the creative stuff, especially for me when it comes to writing songs …, it’s okay. Wait.”
While Wolff was inspired by other musicians during the lockdown, he says he must have realized that everyone is in a different situation.
“I quickly realized that I didn’t need to feel like I, or us as Dead Horses, had to follow anyone,” he says. “We felt pretty comfortable recognizing that we’re on a course, and it’s Sarah and I trying to figure out what it is and what works for us. And that’s something that I do. I feel our communication has even improved over the past year and a half. ”
Now Dead Horses has resumed their touring schedule. And while it took a while to get used to playing again, Vos and Wolff note that their partnership is just as strong despite each other’s time spent.
“Dan has been like a more important person in my life than probably anyone else, and it was also pretty cool to be able to step back from each other and then once things started up again. resume, doesn’t sound weird – it’s just like we trust each other, “Vos says.” I’m proud of how far the two of us have come and that we still do it together. “
Wolff agrees, also noting: “I admire Sarah’s honesty, [and] not just in songwriting … and that stems from friendship and relationship because of everything we’ve been through. “
Since the lockdown delayed sharing the EP “Birds” with the live audience, Vos and Wolff have been having fun revisiting their self-produced project.
“I’m really happy with the result. We made it a little more local, closer to home,” Wolff said.
“I think I’ll always cherish it as this job and it’s… almost just a snapshot of maybe a year from us,” Vos adds.
“Family Tapes” by Dead Horses
“Everything I’ve Ever Wanted” from Dead Horses
“There are a lot of little confessions that I might not say to someone in person, even a friend or something. But it’s so good to take that stuff out and put it in a song and knowing that he can connect with someone and makes them feel less alone, and that makes me feel less alone as I express it, ”says Sarah Vos describing the song.
“Birds Can Write Chorus” from Dead Horses
Dead Horses will perform at the Stephanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Sheboygan on September 24th.