Written By: Mike Acker
Label: Almost Gold – Rating:
Today Indie Rock runs a pretty wide gamut – from bearded dudes with acoustic guitars and simple folk inspired songs, to ten or eleven-piece bands with dense instrumentation and an extreme focus on layers of sound.
Wild Light, with their debut album Adult Nights, fall somewhere in the middle of this Indie Rock spectrum. Personnel-wise, the band, hailing from New Hampshire, is a modest four members. But because two members, Tim Kyle and Seth Pitman, are recognized as multi-instrumentalists, the group is able to produce songs covering an array of musical instruments that could be beyond the realm of a traditional four-piece band.
Adult Nights doesn’t waste anytime getting going. The opening track, “California On My Mind,” jumps right in, with a strong vocal line, an early harmonica break, and an inventive verse structure.
It took a few times through for the song to really grow on me, struggling some with the lyrics like, “Fuck today, fuck San Francisco, fuck California,” but after a half dozen listens, there is little doubt that Adult Nights leads off with one of its stronger tracks. Kyle and Pitman, joined by Jordan Alexander on guitar and vocals and Seth Kasper on drums, change up a little for the second track on Adult Nights without losing any of the complexity of the music. “New Hampshire,” a nod to the home state of the band, showcases the musical aspects of Wild Light that excel. The repetition of both the lyrics and the instrumentals builds on itself, forming a tapestry of sound.
New Hampshire, the song and the state, is a major aspect of Wild Light. Jordan Alexander attended the Phillips Exeter Academy as a New Hampshire youth, and shared a room with Win Butler, the lead singer of the Indie Rock force Arcade Fire. Alexander introduced Butler to Tim Kyle, who was a member of Arcade Fire from 2002-2003, before the release of their critically acclaimed 2004 album Funeral.
Wild Light channels Arcade Fire, to great effect, on the track “Call Home.” The songs second to last verse, with the lines, “call home, call home, I’m looking for a quarter and a payphone,” remind me some of a few tracks on Arcade Fire’s sophomore effort The Neon Bible.
Adult Nights slows down as the album comes to a close, but once again the change in pace showcases Wild Light’s versatility, and doesn’t take away from the overall aesthetic of the record.
“New Year’s Ever,” the 11th of 13 tracks is probably the albums slowest, and it gives the listener a chance to really hear the song lyrics, that are hidden in some tracks behind the layers of music.
Wild Light opened for the Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem in 2007, two gigs with LCD Soundsystem and an entire European tour with Arcade Fire, and provided the opening act for the Killers in the first leg of their 2009 world tour. Adult Nights, with its rich sounds and creative musicality is likely to launch Wild Night from opening act to headliner.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see Wild Light among the big names tour the world and headlining festivals in the near future.
If you like Wild Light then check out: Arcade Fire, The Killers, TV On The Radio