Wardell at Jubilee Music & Arts Festival,
Los Angeles, June 7, 2013
Sasha and Theo Spielberg are siblings and children of director Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw. They performed together as kids in puppet shows and cover bands but only began their band in earnest in 2010, with live shows starting in 2012. Theo reached out to Sasha, his sister, to sing over a chord progression he had been "toying with" since college, which became the song "Opossum" and was named an NPR Song of the Day in late 2011. Theo said the duo created the song quickly, "like, in an hour". The song brought the band national exposure and led to their signing with Roc Nation. The band played at South by Southwest in March 2013 and released their Brother/Sister EP in the summer.
Their album Love/Idleness was released on February 10, 2015 on their own label. And the first track, "Funny Thing", was initially released in November 2014.
The band's name, Wardell, is Theo's middle name and their mother's nickname. Sasha is the band's vocalist and Theo plays guitar, drums, piano, and other instruments. The duo were influenced by The Strokes' Is This It, Christina Aguilera's Stripped, and Janis Joplin's Pearl. The band is planning a full-length album.
Christopher R. Weingarten of Spin described their sound at their debut as "the flavor of the month ... two years ago" and added that music journalists were not seriously considering the band, though they "clearly" had an audience. Jessica Hopper of Rookie magazine did not find the band's sound to be unique and added that their fame was not proportional to their status as a new band. Critics were frustrated by the difficulty of classifying the band's music into existing genres. Critics also doubted their rise to fame if not for their father's cultural influence.
- Winston, Fan (October 9, 2013). "Steven Spielberg's kids' band Wardell signed by Jay Z's Roc Nation". NBC News. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- Itzkoff, Dave (October 18, 2013). "Forget Their Dad; Just Listen to Them". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- Lester, Paul (March 27, 2013). "New band of the day - Wardell (No 1,480)". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
Media related to Wardell (band) at Wikimedia Commons