Despite their apparently straightforward indie-pop sound, there is something distinctly elusive about Wild Pink. Just when you think you have a grasp on what to expect, they throw in a subtle tempo shift, kick in with a driving bass groove, mix things up with a downbeat mid-section or echo an earlier motif. It all makes for a pretty satisfying listening, whereby the sum of the parts adds up to something way beyond that of any individual song, like they added two and two to get five.
‘Wild Pink’ may be the band’s debut album but it is delivered with a confidence and familiarity that makes them sound like they have been around for years. Their distinctly American take on indie lies somewhere between the wistfulness of Whitney and the power of Interpol, as they integrate moments of quiet introspection with flurries of distorted guitar abandon.
After the downbeat strumming of ‘How Do You Know If God Takes You Back’ lazily introduces things, ‘Great Apes’ kicks in with typically indie riffing powered by a mid-tempo straight-ahead bass line for three and a half minutes of quality indie rock. ‘Broke On’ then introduces the more experimental aspect of their arrangements, as the song progresses through various shades of grey, from the hushed to the intense.
The record then wanders lazily from moments of thoughtful restraint, as on the melancholic ‘Albert Ross’, to frantic fuzzy guitar on ‘Nothing to Show’, an interesting take on the loud quiet loud formula. In between they cover a spectrum of emotions and textures from the quirkily mechanical ‘Wizard of Loneliness’ to the shape-shifting subtleties of ‘I Used to Be Small’ or ‘They Hate Our Freedom’.
All told ‘Wild Pink’ is a debut album with plenty to get your ears around, and one that is certainly worth massaging your brain with for a while.
‘Wild Pink’ by Wild Pink is out 24th February on Tiny Engines.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)