The Lexington, KY-based band Ancient Warfare can trace their origins to when its creative mastermind Echo Wilcox (vocals and guitar) was studying photography and motion graphics at the Savannah College of Art and Design. When she approached Duane Lundy of Shangri-La Productions during the winter of 2010, Wilcox had a collection of loosely established songs heavily informed by a process that involved translating traditional visuals into a conceptual soundscape. Eventually, Lundy became a producer and collaborator as Wilcox fleshed out her original compositions into a full-length album. And over the last few years, the studio became a refuse and home, as the band went through a number of iterations.
The project’s latest iteration features Wilcox, multi-instrumentalist Emily Hagihara (who’s best known for working with Chico Fellini and Jim James, along with her solo work), violinist Rachael Yanarella (of Oh My Me) and recently recruited bassist, Derek Rhineheimer (also of Oh My Me) and “Gunsmoke,” the latest single off the newly minted quartet’s forthcoming full-length effort, The Pale Horse channels 60s pop, if covered by a chamber music band as it possesses a swooning romanticism thanks to the gorgeous string arrangements paired with Wilcox’s smoky vocals, soaring backing vocals and rock ballad guitar chords. At it’s core is a very gothic love story – the sort that Edgar Allan Poe would have written in the 1820s, in which the hero (or heroine)’s love is recently dead, and the hero/heroine is dangerously and unnaturally obsessed with their lover’s death.