Stabbings, diarrhea, and zombies. These are the makings of a lyrically bizarre yet beautifully melodic 22-minute EP by Volunteer Pioneer. By way of the Golden Gate Bridge, Volunteer Pioneer is a folk-pop trio made up of Kyle Williams (guitar/vocals), Jason Byers (drums) and Sabrina Duim (vocals/harp). Volunteer Pioneer is like an awesome hybrid of an acoustic Wolf Parade off psych meds and a harp-plucking, freak-folk pixie Joanna Newsom that shut-up. (No offense, Joanna.) In “Fear of Cholera,” the juxtaposition of Kyle’s screeching-to-the-point-of-breaking vocals and Sabrina’s “wailing” on her delicate harp is oddly brilliant – as is the entire EP.
Sadly, with the sudden and tragic death of Sabrina in 2007, Volunteer Pioneer is no more. In 2008, the Volunteer Pioneer EP was released on Gold Robot Records to share Sabrina’s talent with the world. Kyle and Jason have since formed Lady Genius that features Ashley Brewer, Brian Caraway and Matt Stromberg.