Premiere: The Wild State Bring New Life to “Bloodbuzz Ohio” in Latest The National Cover

The Wild State © Aaron Busk
The Wild State recreate The National’s “Bloodbuzz Ohio” with harmonic and dreamscape sounds that give the song a brand new meaning, life, and memory on its ten year anniversary.
for fans of The National, Hozier, Bon Iver
Listen: “Bloodbuzz Ohio” – The Wild State




What is it about the hometown you leave behind that keeps you reminiscing on your youth, your past mistakes, and all the paths you could have or should have taken? For Brighton-based band, The Wild State, the answer may just be in the wondering. In their first release ever since their ethereal, wonderstruck debut album Light Along The Waves in 2019, the trio is back with a thrilling new cover of a song by art-rock band The National revealing the soundscape nature The Wild State is headed this year.

Bloodbuzz Ohio – The WIld State

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering The Wild State’s latest release – their own rendition of The National’s “Bloodbuzz Ohio.” In sweeping harmonies, this cover of “Bloodbuzz Ohio” brings reflection to its knees in The Wild State’s own signature sound. Incredibly different from The National’s original rock-at-its-core track, pianist Josh Difford, guitarist Laurie White, and drummer Oliver Spalding have not only taken their skill for instrumentation and gave the song a new life but also breathed a celestial take on longing for a time that’s been over with for years.

Difford, White, and Spalding studied songwriting together at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute, where they met and bonded over their love of music. Today, they perfectly blend together their appreciation for artists like Bon Iver with the inspiration of light, transcendent sounds that lands itself in its own place of intensity, rarity, and beauty.

I still owe money to the money to the money I owe
I never thought about love when I thought about home

2020 brought about many obstacles for artists in the music industry, but for The Wild State, they took it as time to recreate what they could do on songs written by others. “We decided to put together our own rendition of ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ – a beautiful track, written by The National,” the band explains.

The song represents going back to your home town – I think for the time we find ourselves in right now, that concept likely strikes a chord with a lot of people. It’s recently just been the 10 year anniversary since the song came out – the track has always been a favourite of ours and after we decided to perform a version of it live one time, it received an awesome reception, from that we decided that we should get it recorded. We felt there was no better time to get stuck into putting together this rendition of the song than in lockdown.

The Wild State © Aaron Busk

The Wild State © Aaron Busk

Working alongside producer Peter Katis, (The National, Interpol, Kurt Vile) The Wild State had the opportunity to break down and reinvent the melodies and lyrics that were written by members of The National. “We were lucky enough to have Peter Katis mix the track, which in itself is extremely surreal for us as he mixed and produced the original song. There’s some kind of mixing inception in there somewhere!”

While stripping back the hard-rock vibe that The National originally placed on “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” The Wild State laid down a new focus for their version of the song: vocal harmonies. With ambient sounds and light energy, the band’s vocals turn “Bloodbuzz Ohio” into a completely new track – one that invites you to remember memories, rather than push them away.

I still owe money to the money to the money I owe
I never thought about love when I thought about home

“The melodies and lyrics in the track are so beautifully put together. We wanted to slow it down and really focus on the beauty of the melodies and the songwriting within the song. We wanted to preserve the integrity of the track while at the same time giving it a completely new feel,” The Wild State reveals. What’s most interesting about the feel of the song is that its dreamlike tone and sonic escapism doesn’t compel listeners to feel like they have to run away from or avoid “Ohio” or their past the way The National’s sound does. The Wild State’s sound encourages reflection. The harmonies take you back. The sound makes you think, and the song itself becomes its own kind of memory after it’s played through.

The Melancholic Beauty of The Wild State's Longing 'Youth'

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The Wild State © Aaron Busk

The Wild State © Aaron Busk

For a band like The Wild State to come through and focus their music so heavily on vocal harmonies, it’s a powerful creative message they are sending to the music scene, especially in genres focused around rock guitars and acoustic sounds. There’s an energy similar to Queen behind the band’s push for playing with their vocal abilities, and also a certain kind of magic and honesty similar to Hozier and The National themselves that hint that a sound like this is needed now more than ever.

I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees
I never married but Ohio don’t remember me

The Wild State have spent the past year working on more original music as a follow up to their debut album, Light Along The Waves. Focused on honing their craft and taking their songwriting to new levels, The Wild State plans on releasing new music in the near future. Keep up with the band across all socials and stream their captivating cover of “Bloodbuzz Ohio” exclusively today only on Atwood Magazine.

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Listen: “Bloodbuzz Ohio” – The Wild State



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📸 © Aaron Busk

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Erica Danielle Garcia is a writer, music journalist, and environmentalist from Los Angeles. Her journalism is focused on the importance of climate justice, exploring the environmental impact of the music industry, and making the world of storytelling as inclusive as possible. You can find her writing at ericadanlle.com and connect with her on Instagram @ericadanlle.