Local group Wumbo gains traction with ambient sound | The Daily Reveille

With the start of the new fall semester comes more chances to discover Baton Rouge’s local music scene at various gigs around town, like local band Wumbo. 

Wumbo will perform at the Varsity Theatre on Aug. 31, joining Nice Dog at their album release show. Wumbo has previously performed at The Spanish Moon, Atomic Pop Shop and The Parlor throughout its relatively short career.

Percussion performance junior Mitchell Mobley and University alumnus Jake Heflin began playing together in high school around seven years ago in their hometown of Monroe, Louisiana. While the duo knew of each other’s musical interests and wanted to collaborate further, it wasn’t until a year ago they decided to form the band officially.

Percussion performance and composition junior Kevin McCabe was asked by Mobley in their studio class if he was interested in playing with the band, and the rest is history. Fellow local musician Zak Ocmand recently stepped in to play the bass after Wumbo’s original bass player moved. Ocmand was part of another band that Wumbo played with, making the transition of members a smooth fit.

The lighthearted and humorous foursome derived their band’s unique name from an episode of Nickelodeon  TV show “Spongebob Squarepants.” 

“It’s the perfect amount of innocent nonsense and goofiness that we all think is really entertaining,” Mobley said.

The group has described their music as space indie-pop, jazz rock with hints of an Appalachian progressive flare.

“We definitely try to go left of the typical college rock sound, adding in synthesizers and not being so reliant on a guitar heavy sound,” Heflin said. “We’re trying to push past that and make [our sound] a little more ambient by adding in different textures.”

The group tries to add as many other elements to the type of music Wumbo plays as they want, Mobley said. Its sound started as a bunch of bedroom demos, and each one had its own atmosphere. All of their music fits within the same vein, but is all fairly diverse, he said.

Mobley and Heflin did their songwriting individually in the beginning, but now derive most songs from ideas they bring to the table, and as a band add and make changes until they’re collectively satisfied with the sound. Many songs morph drastically from their inception to the completed product.

“We try to go beyond…

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