Since 2009, I’ve considered the Wild Beasts my favourite band. I recommend them to friends who like indie music more often than not. They’re also one of the only bands that Jon and I both really, really, really like enough that we can get drunk together and talk about how amazing they are. I dunno how you can really properly “rate” a band — and I know that rating is kind of subjective depending on the person — but I remember seeing the Wild Beasts in 2011 after the release of their third album, Smother, and we were sitting at a table with this drunk guy at the Vancouver bar venue, talking about the real complexities about how amazing the band was. When you can bond with complete strangers on that kind of level, I’d say the band has some special meaning.
I’m also just spewing meaning over my keyboard after two drinks, so maybe I’m just an idiot. Whatever.
Nevertheless, the Wild Beasts are coming out with a new album, Boy King, on August 5th, and the first released single, titled “Get My Bang” isn’t exactly getting the greatest response from devoted fans. Yes, the band has a different sound with every album. Smother is my personal fave, with its deep sexuality yet very subtle and somber vibe. For whatever reason, Present Tense didn’t really grip me all that well, despite the fact that it’s still a solid album.
Many a people have called me a “hipster”, and I have fallen out of love with a lot of bands for going mainstream or putting out boring music or whatever. (Case in point, Metric seriously sucks now. I really tried with Pagans in Vegas but Emily Haines sounds so flat it’s like listening to music in 2D.) Nevertheless, the more mainstream electronic sound of the Wild Beasts in the upcoming Boy King is fine with me. The music is still good. The lyrics are still sexy yet craftily-written. They recently released a second song from the album, “Big Cat”, and I quite like it. A lot. And honestly, one of the things about the Wild Beasts that’s always bugged me is that they’re music is so good but I’ve never been able to add any of their songs to my super dance-y POWWWERRRRRR!MIX playlist. AND NOW I CAN. I don’t think that every band’s shift toward a more “mainstream” sound is necessarily bad. Goldfrapp shifts back and forth between pop and ambient all the time and nobody seems to complain about it.
The way I see it, music is the same as writing. There are trends. There are things that, as an artist, you want to try out specifically because they’re trends, just for the sake of seeing what kind of spin you can put on it. Like erotic novels. Or gory horror. Or writing a book that has a crafty use of the word “girl” in the title.
Sidenote: I’ve always found lead singer, Hayden Thorpe to be super sexy AF, and his attractiveness only improves with every album, and watching him dance in an alley with a chick who can flip her hair like nobody’s business is nice. It’s trashy, but it’s still nice.