We’re excited to announce EP 2! We had four new-ish songs that felt like they needed a home and it seemed like the best way to find that home was to cut them over the course of one afternoon—we wanted the songs to have the same life and breath as they do when we played them in the Back Back (or anywhere else for that matter). So on a beautiful fall day last October, we hauled all our gear over to Luke’s house and set up in his 100 year old barn. We kept the doors open and let the sun in (and with it some of the sounds of outside—children, dogs, the occasional train).

EP2 (or as we refer to it: The Barney P) covers over a decade of Luke’s songwriting run through the Ruralist ringer. “Right‽” has become our 2019 anthem, the closer to nearly all of our sets. “Your Bones Get Old” first appeared on Luke’s The Northwoods Hymnal in 2013 (as did “Favorite Season”), but we gave it a proper barn treatment, complete with Laremy’s faux pedal steel guitar. Favorite Season also got filled out, with beats and riffs and Jake’s ghostly oohs on the singalong outro. And Little Bird got all of it—that riff, both played and sang by Laremy, the frenetic drums of Titus, the octave squeal of Jake’s bass, and all the breath Luke had in his chest. It’s a strange range of songs, a little split in its personality, asking some of the most serious questions in the world and laughing at the lack of answers. It’s complicated. Right‽

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The Ruralists


True believers in Dave Kramer's ruralist platform know that art and beauty can be found hidden in the back of any old garage. One late summer evening, they hoisted a broke-spring garage door and gathered together rusted gas tanks and ancient oil pans, barn wood and bailing wire, all the best bits of whatever sound and strain they could uncover or acquire, constructing something stratified and sound, a mellifluous mouthful of sharp and shiny teeth, nuanced and narrative, northwest of nowhere, seeded in the silvery soil of soybeans and cornstalks, flavored by the very salt of the earth.

Also: guitars.


Vocals, Guitar / Luke Hawley

Electric Guitar / Laremy De Vries

Bass / Jake Miller

Drums / Titus Landegent


The city, of course, is a thing of the past. There was a time during the middle ages when it was the only source of culture. There was no way of acquiring this thing we call culture except by direct contact, see.

—Frank Lloyd Wright

Guitar driven … an incredibly powerful sound to back up The Ruralists’ poignant and personal lyrics. … wonderfully written songs … a powerful set and performed as a cohesive unit.

– Sioux City Weekender
At the center of all this—the swelling noise, the sweaty crowd—is the band’s anchor and heart … songs deeply shaped by a storyteller’s sensibility.

– The Voice
Norman Rockwell meets Nirvana.

— Dave Kramer
Pulled me out of my funk.

— Andy Roetman
A helluva surprise.

— Ron Suir, Anthem






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The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself

—William Faulkner
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In their debut full-length album, The Birth of Birds, the Ruralists take Luke Hawley’s simple folk shuffles and, using all the instruments in their machine shed, run them against the grain. Howling electric guitars create a lush landscape of sound, sharp strokes over the fundamental and foundational rhythm section. Splashes of color like basement brass, the odd accordion, and a century-old pipe organ brighten the corners. And at the center of this curious carousel, Hawley’s songs of loving, longing, leaving, and coming back again, the fight for fidelity, grabbing and grappling at the impermanent, the interlocular, the veiny and visceral mess of the here and now stacked against the dream and desire of better days ahead. The songs are melodic, even down to the drums, hooks hooked with hooks, like the old barrel-of-monkeys game. They’re narrative both in lyric and music, dynamic and surprising, at times bombastic, at times almost uncomfortably intimate.

Don’t fly over these songs. Invite them to Sunday dinner, push back from the table and listen. You’ll find yourself in it, humming quietly along with the themes and variations on the heart in conflict. And don’t worry about it, the band will do the dishes.