Sometimes, you just hear something and it’s so perfect and unforced it just floors you. The Hotelier’s ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’, or Beach Slang’s first two EPs both spring to mind instantly.
Another band that will leave you with that buzzing sensation are New York’s Wild Pink, who released one of the finest EPs of 2015 with the incredible ‘Good Life’, a five song, sub 11-minute alt-rock triumph that hints at something pretty special. In fact, so excited are we about where Wild Pink might go, we made them one of our 50 bands to watch in 2016.
Combining everything from classic indie-rock to emo and 90s style alternative and new wave, Wild Pink sound naggingly familiar yet uniquely exciting. It’s an intoxicating and exciting mishmash of styles.
“I think it’s a mishmash too,” says vocalist John Ross. “We’re a guitar driven rock band but beyond that I’m not sure. I think the songs span a couple of styles anyway, especially on the full length we are about to record.“
“Some big inspirations have always been bands like I Hate Myself, The Promise Ring, Violent Femmes and Jackson Browne. There’s a singer-songwriter quality in those bands that always interested me and obviously Jackson Browne is a singer-songwriter, but those other ones might not immediately come to mind. They all write amazing lyrics and their songs make a lot of room for the vocals.”
This nod to personality-driven bands and singer-songwriters is in easy evidence throughout the lyrics on ‘Good Life’, which tumble and cascade throughout. In fact, there’s so many sharp observations, wry quips and emotional sucker-punches, ‘Good Life’ would make a good study for a literature student. From the abstract (“Did running so fast through the trees chip your antlers?”) to the gut-wrenchingly powerful (“We’re losing you in the night, you’re slipping away”) there’s this sense of looking out; of being aware of how your actions can impact others and the feelings of others. It’s an emotionally powerful approach which never falls back on the woe-is-me tropes.
“I’m pretty nostalgic and I think that comes out in the lyrics,” says Ross. "I don’t go out of my way to write abstractly but sometimes it’s more effective at creating a visual and expressing something I might not even fully understand.”
“I probably spend a lot of time ruminating over my actions but songs are also a chance to let the people in my life know how much they mean to me although that doesn’t always work out the way I hope.”
The good folk at Texas Is Funny obviously saw something, picking up ‘Good Life’ for a limited cassette release, just when then band were thinking of pushing it out digitally themselves. Now, after a busy 2015, which saw the trio tour the eastern side of the US, they’re turning their attention to an even bigger 2016:
“We are starting 2016 off with a four-week tour before recording our first full length,” says Ross. “At that point, we’d love to tour in the UK/EU if it makes sense.“
“The full length is going to be more exploratory. The EP had an urgency which is nice but I’d like to let some of the ideas expand and hopefully, come to fruition.”
“Right now, there are 12 songs and I’m experimenting with interludes between some of them. In the meantime, we have a 7" split that should be coming out sooner than later.”
With so much going on, prepare to get wild with one of the most exciting bands around…
‘Good Life’ EP by Wild Pink is out now on Texas Is Funny Records.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)