Like the homesteaders of her native Mississippi River Delta, Ever More Nest builds houses of emotion among fields of mercy, forests of fears, and streams of consciousness. These are houses that are lived in, that draw in visitors to comfortable confines with the promise of warmth despite the dust, grit, and dangers of the day.
Rooted in Southern musical traditions and infused with confessional 90s angst, the music of Ever More Nest can likewise lull and rock you right off a front porch. Ever More Nest’s dynamic, homegrown voice—hugged by lush, church-pew harmonies—is complemented by ghostly, effusive guitars, spirited mandolin and banjo, mournful fiddle, and a rhythm section steady as a country train.
Whether in a cinematic crescendo of all-consuming sound or in a quiet soliloquy of only voice and guitar, Ever More Nest allows audiences to wade deep into the waters of their humanness or stay safely ashore, where the rhythm of waves—the steady rock and roll—bring contentedness and joy.
A native of North Louisiana, Ever More Nest’s Kelcy Wilburn (“Kelcy Mae”) was equally influenced by the gospel, country, and blues of her Bible Belt hometown as she was by the emotional rawness of the artists that consumed her generation: Cranberries, Counting Crows, Tori Amos, Radiohead, et al. At 18, she moved to New Orleans, where open-mindedness and acceptance gave her the freedom to be herself and to find her voice. As a student of creative writing, she fostered a love of language evident across her early releases as Kelcy Mae and across Ever More Nest’s debut and sophomore albums.
The Ever More Nest debut, The Place That You Call Home (2018), was nominated for Best Alt-Country Album in the Independent Music Awards and its single, “Major Tom,” named a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition and Unsigned Only Music Competition. Following its release, Wilburn and her cadre of accomplished New Orleans musicians graced a variety of stages across the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast United States, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Milwaukee’s Summerfest music festival, and listening rooms across the country.
Inspiration for the band name “Ever More Nest” came from a line in a poem by Mary Ann Samyn, which Wilburn found striking in its ability to evoke both a nostalgia for and discomfort with place. The Place That You Call Home is likewise obsessed with the idea of place and poses the universal question: “Just where do I belong?” According to Folk Radio UK, “The answer is clearly in any discerning Americana CD collection.”
For Ever More Nest’s sophomore album, Out Here Now (forthcoming in August 2022), Wilburn again teamed up with Nashville-based Producer Neilson Hubbard, multi-instrumentalist Will Kimbrough, and bassist Dean Marold. New York native Fats Kaplin was brought in for the album’s emotive fiddle, strings, and pedal steel.
“I’m not done living in the spacious, warm, musical landscape we created on The Place That You Call Home, so it only felt natural to re-enlist Neilson, Will, and Dean for volume two,” says Wilburn.
Featuring songs written both before and during the pandemic, Out Here Now builds upon the immersive sounds and themes of its predecessor with textures, tones, and lyricism that delve deep into what makes us human. Wilburn calls the album a “journey to and celebration of the soul that lends itself well to the active-listeners, dreamers, travelers and seekers.”
“These songs are personal and spiritual explorations of loneliness, growth, vulnerability, and transformation—all feelings and experiences brought into focus during my pre-pandemic music and touring life and during the shutdowns and quarantine of the pandemic itself,” she says. For Wilburn, the songs are meant to honor the complexity and value of human emotion by offering it space to be both experienced and learned from.
The songs of Ever More Nest are brought to life on stage and on tour by a tight-knit family of New Orleans musicians that includes Wilburn’s wife Lucy Cordts (banjo, mandolin), Dave DeCotiis (guitar), Rebecca Crenshaw (violin), Rose Cangelosi (drums), Jeremy Joyce (guitar), Alec Barnes (drums, bass) and Adam Everett (drums).