Since releasing ‘Clouded’ in 2014, acoustic duo This Wild Life have been working on their follow-up. The evolution of their sound is crystal clear on ‘Low Tides’, utilising acoustic guitars as we’ve come to expect but with the tasteful addition of piano, synths and some low-key electric guitar.
With this expansion in production, the album sounds like it could soundtrack a dramatic teen romance film, all dusty colours and heartbreak. It’s a personal release, full of tracks that don’t fail to make you feel like you were right there in the room when these songs were being written. ‘Hit The Reset’ and ‘Let Go’ especially manage to condense these feelings down into roughly four minutes each, bringing to mind dusty evenings and failed romances.
On the contrast, ‘Falling Down’ sounds as radio ready as anything a major label pop act could write, and the expansion into other types of instrumentation and arrangement really pays off. The chorus is exhilarating, with an almost dance-drop feel that still manages to sound delicate when sung by Kevin Jordan. Each song is placed in a different space on this album, with the reverbs and delays doing the hard work to make listening to the album an experience, allowing the listener to melt into the release and come out the other side feeling like they’ve been on a journey.
Former fans of the duo are sure to be happy with the consistency of their introspective and confessional lyrics as they’ve managed to develop their sound whilst maintaining their relatable verse. Thematically this is an album about heartbreak, but there are instances where Kevin Jordan turns the situation in on himself, resulting in some poignant lyrics. “I guess I’m always running, twenty seven years still I can’t change it” he croons on ‘Break Down’, a sense of remorse fighting its way to the surface. The lyrics to each song are a beautiful centrepiece to the stunning arrangement and production found on this release, and it’s a relief that both elements of their music match up in terms of atmosphere.
Coming in at only 10 tracks, ‘Low Tides’ is an album full of great songs with no room for the mediocre.
‘Low Tides’ is out now via Epitaph Records
This Wild Life article was written by Eloise Bulmer, a GIGsoup contributor