As it turns out, the Last Bison isn’t just a particularly effective card to play in Cards Against Humanity; it’s also the name of a fine band hailing from “the marshes of southeast Virginia”, as its press materials describe.
While the continued popularity of quote-unquote folk revival bands like Mumford & Sons might lead some to lump the Last Bison in with that trend, there’s a genuine folk feeling to the band’s music (whereas groups like the aforementioned Brits come off more like would-be rockists who happened to pick up acoustic instruments). Just as important, though, is the pop component; the chorus on “Bad Country”, the latest song to come forth from the group’s forthcoming album VA, is the stuff that huge concert sing-alongs are made of. As John Bergstrom asked in his PopMatters review of the Last Bison’s last album, Inheritance, “The Virginia septet are legitimate players in the folk revival, so why aren’t they blanketing your radio like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers?”
Songwriter and vocalist Ben Hardesty tells PopMatters about the song and its music video, “Nostalgia is that desire to return in thought or in fact to a former place or time. There is no better way to describe how I feel about the events that inspired ‘Bad Country’. I am an ever-nostalgic person, constantly looking back on experiences that create and strengthen the bond between friends. This video captures a moment such as those that are always in my mind. It captures a time with a friend or family member, that is burned into memory, and that leaves you with a sentimental eagerness to go back again. The video is filmed with the band, but primarily my sister Annah, with whom I share a deep bond. It is on location in the fields around my home in Virginia and on the Triple R Ranch which hold many nostalgic moments in my mind.”
VA, which the Last Bison self-produced in conjunction with Media House, is out on September 30th. Pre-orders through iTunes are available here.