Husband-and-wife band The Welcome Wagon recently released their third record ‘Light Up The Stairs’, and it has a rockier sound than we’ve heard from them before.
The duo (Reverend Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife Monique) originally formed their musical project after being pushed into it by their pal Sufjan Stevens, who put their first two albums out on his label (Asthmatic Kitty) and produced their debut LP himself.
This time around, they’ve recruited some other indie all-stars; recording ‘Light Up The Stairs’ in the studio of Danielson’s frontman Dan Smith, and recruiting Anthony LaMarca from The War On Drugs to play drums and guitar on it.
Vito explained in an interview, “Our producer Jeremy [McDonald] did two things that sort of changed the complexion or the sonic palette of the record. One was he wouldn't let me play acoustic guitar on almost any of the tracks. He came over just as we were plugging in for the first song and he handed me an electric guitar and he said, ‘I want you to play this.’”
‘Light Up The Stairs’ is a refreshingly laid back look at Gospel, blending choirs with indie-folk guitars and wind instruments.
It also has a cover of a previously unheard Sufjan song ‘The Greatest Gift, which Vito explained was, “an outtake from ‘Carrie & Lowell’. I had heard the song years and years ago - he played it at a wedding I officiated, and I had always thought about that song. And then I heard a recording that he made of it and I said, ‘Man, that's a lovely song. I really like it.’ And he said, ‘Well, I'm not gonna put it out. I might put it out in some EP or something later, but it doesn't fit with what I'm doing.’ And I said, ‘Well, can we do it?’”
“I'd always wanted to cover one of his songs because we're really close... And Sufjan really helped us up close, so we were really proud to cover that song. And it's just an incredible song so we were super happy that he was gracious enough to loan it to us.”
Listen to ‘Light Up The Stairs’ below: