‘Belly of the Lion is David Wingo's much anticipated sophomore effort under the name Ola Podrida. Chockfull of unsentimental love songs, the album pulses with the burgeoning sexuality borne of feral adolescent summers spent in the sprawling suburbs of the South. It's near impossible not to be wooed, as the songs gingerly lay to rest the calamities that inevitably befall an adventurous heart.
Born and raised in Texas, David Wingo's first public performance involved dressing up as a mouse at the Olla Podrida Mexican market in Dallas. The job didn't last, but it did lead to his first beer (thrown at him by some unruly hecklers in a truck) and to his unforgettable pseudonym, Ola Podrida.
Though he dabbled with home recording for years while living between Texas and NYC, notably as soundtrack composer for films by David Gordon Green, it wasn't until 2005 that Wingo released his debut full length entitled ‘Ola Podrida’ under the Plug Research label. The album received high praise from Pitchfork, Gorilla vs. Bear, Spin and NPR, to name but a few. Wingo assembled a full touring band and Ola Podrida took to the road sharing stages with Fleet Foxes, She & Him, Beach House, Explosions in the Sky, and many more, playing their last show at the prestigious All Tomorrow's Parties UK festival before going their separate ways. On his own once again, Wingo decided to begin recording what would become Belly Of The Lion.
The album sounds so organic and well-balanced, it's hard to believe Wingo wrote and recorded most of it alone in his apartment. Rather than creating overwrought studio jams, Wingo's years of recording soundtracks seem to have taught him how to record a rock record using the perfect amount of restraint, while still delivering rich guitar textures that compliment his unforgettable vocal melodies and magnify the impact of his abstract narratives.
If Pink Floyd had been influenced by Bedhead and Flying Saucer Attack, they might well have crafted gorgeous shimmering gems like "We All Radiant" and "Monday Morning." As tracks like "Donkey" swell, almost to the point of bursting, it's easy to be reminded of Jeff Mangum's heartbreaking croon. Alternately, the gently driving rhythm and fragile vocals on "Lakes of Wine" project a hypnotizing mood that seems to summon the spirit of Nick Drake, while "Roomful of Sparrows" with its pastoral shoegaze rock feels like the best song Kevin Shields never wrote.