This Lonely Wild article was written by Natalie Whitehouse, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson
The second album is always somewhat of a tricky one. Your first is your key to unlock the door of the music industry, with the hope of making a splash in its unforgiving waters, rather than a mere ripple. Your sophomore album though arguably needs to be more powerful; it must cement your place in music, define you, and turn the splash into crashing waves.
American indie folk band The Lonely Wild seem to have mastered the art of the second album; with ‘Chasing White Light,’ an LP focusing on loss, death and acceptance, taking us on a journey of heartache, overflowing with enough passion, strength and power to cause a tidal wave.
‘Snow,’ with its pounding drums and a plethora of trumpets, welcomes us with grandeur into an album that is bursting with powerful vocals and almost haunting lyrics, exploring the theme of death, leading to the acceptance of its inevitability.
The drumbeat carries us through to second track ‘Haunted,’ with a name that could well stand for the LP in its entirety: frontman Andrew Carroll has a visibly scarred heart, and there is a lingering sense of wanting that fills all twelve tracks.
And yet, there is a real light at the end of the tunnel feel to the songs; even though our vocalist feels “like I’m being haunted,” the use of buoyant, passionate instruments pulls the vocalist back onto his feet; damned if they’ll let him succumb to his demons.
But make no mistake; the vocalist is just as determined to overcome them. There is such power in the delivery of the lyrics that you believe every word he’s saying. The fierce passion behind the words “I’ll feast on you/In the morning there’ll be nothing left of you inside” in ‘Into Their Mouths,’ and the repeated, pleading refrain “don’t stop running” in the stunning duet between Caroll and vocalist Jessi Williams in ‘Running’ is captivating; with raw, unbridled passion seeping into every word.
This feeling of passion is present once more in title track ‘Chasing White Light,’ which is seven minutes of hypnotic vocals, joined halfway through by swirling a instrumental that builds to a heavy guitar solo. This is a track that incorporates the passion of both lyrics and music in one of the strongest songs on the album.
It’s hard to pinpoint the main highlight of ‘Chasing White Light,’ because there are so many. Even the production of the album; the seamless transition between the trio of ‘Scar,’ ‘Born’ and ‘Running,’ is simply stunning, and the guitar solo repeated throughout ‘Into Their Mouths’ could well stake its claim as the album’s finest feature.
Impressively, ‘Chasing White Light’ doesn’t stick to one sound, a trap The Lonely Wild could have stumbled into due to the stand out theme of death that courses through the album’s veins. The melancholic, dark ‘Funeral’ is juxtaposed with songs such as ‘Free From Harm,’ which has a typical, upbeat indie folk feel to it, reminiscent of Mumford & Sons, and a track that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Mumford album.
But it would be wrong to draw too many comparisons. The Lonely Wild have created a fine album, filled with a raw, lingering passion that showcases such talent that it simply must be heard, shared and celebrated.
‘Chasing White Light’ is out now via Entertainment One Music.