“My idol, really and truly, is Bob Dylan,” says Theo Spielberg. “But I feel if I saw him, I’d run in the opposite direction and hide in the car.” If there was ever any indication that Theo and his sister Sasha are 100% consumed by music, this is it. Because after growing up with the last name Spielberg, Theo and Sasha are, quite understandably, not prone to becoming star-struck—except, that is, when it comes to meeting those who have influenced and inspired Wardell, their musical venture.
With a sound somewhere between teenage nostalgia and sweet new-age indie folk, the New York/L.A.-based duo has somehow managed to create their own sonic niche—one where sweeter-than-honey melodies meld with garage/surf-rock-esque instrumentals and forthright lyrics. So far, with only one EP and a series of SXSW performances under their belt, Wardell has already emulated some of their ever-changing favorite artists (who they list as Kate Bush, Fiona Apple, The Strokes, early Liz Phair, and Fleetwood Mac) with their own fresh spin. “Dancing on the Freeway” is like the quintessential Brat Pack song that John Hughes lost somewhere along the way, “Funny Thing” brings to mind a vision of ’50s housewives in kitten heels swaying back and forth, “Call It What You Want” calls for a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, and their debut song “Opossum” is the type of song to rock out to alone in your bedroom.
Their music sounds like it’s a little all over the place, but that’s how they like it. As Theo says, “Making sense is a little bit overrated.”
Additional reporting by Emily McDermott.