Shapeshifting on an axis between folk, alternative, country, and soul, Bendigo Fletcher’s lofty melodies soar above earthy instrumentationon their 2022 Wingding EP [Elektra Records]. Charmed with psychedelic flourishes, yet tightly rooted in tried-and-true songcraft, the Louisville quintet—Ryan Anderson [lead vocals, guitar, banjo], Andrew Shupert [backing vocals, lead guitar], Evan Wagner [backing vocals, keys, guitar, percussion], Conner Powell [bass], and Chris Weis [drums]—continues to instantly transfix across the EP’s four tracks.
“More than a few times, I’ve explored the Wingding font universe as an entertaining break from more pressing tasks. I like the name ‘Wingding’ for a fictional creature, like the Mothman of West Virginia folklore. It’s also another word for party,” Anderson says. “This EP is a collection of distractions we built over the last few years when gatherings and adventures felt pretty unattainable.”
After crisscrossing paths in the Louisville scene and life in general (“Chris is my brother-in-law’s childhood best friend,” notes Anderson), Bendigo Fletcher initially formed in 2016. The group organically built an audience across their native Kentucky one gig at a time. During 2018, they made waves with the independent Consensual Wisdom EP highlighted by fan favorites “Wonderfully Bizarre” and “Soul Factory.”
Following a tireless grind, the band signed to Elektra Records and unveiled their debut album, Fits of Laughter in 2021. Beyond amassing millions of streams, the album earned widespread critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, FLOOD Magazine, and more. Music Connection dubbed it, “Alt-rock, country-flecked folk-rock soaked in LSD,” while Atwood Magazine praised the collection as “a record of reverie, celebration, and true to its name, laughter: music made for good times and bad, that promises to leave us all a little more elated.” Along the way, Bendigo Fletcher captivated crowds on tour with the likes of Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Hiss Golden Messenger, Mt. Joy, Nathaniel Rateliff, Anderson East, Rayland Baxter, and Shakey Graves.