Wild Beasts are known to be very different from the mainstream pop genre. After having some time out and taken three years since their last album Smother, Wild Beasts are back with their fourth album, Present Tense. This album sees them take extracts and influences from the intensity and vibrancy of 1980s and 1990s electronic music, which they have adapted and reworked for the 21st century audience. For those that like bands such as Arcade Fire and Melody’s Echo Chamber, keep on reading as you will be keen to give this a listen.
Present Tense is filled with mesmerizing and stunning songwriting. It really is a refreshing use of 80s sounds and tones to treat your ears to. The first single to be released and the first track, ‘Wanderlust’, has an underlying consistency of drum beats accompanied by operatic harmonies and Hayden’s soothing voice. These almost play against each other, but somehow work in a poetic synchronisation. It is certainly more stimulating than the average pop song.
Halfway through the album, the atmosphere becomes very mellow. Notable tracks ‘A Dogs Life’, ‘Past Perfect’ and ‘New Life’ really express the emotional progressions these guys seemed to have made in the last few years. What is very interesting is how most of the song titles relate to a time frame; the theme of life experiences and changes are clearly put across as the underlying subject of the whole album.
Following the subtle, mellow tones, the final song ‘Palace’ brings back up the energy for the finale of the album. This uplifting track brings together their personal experiences and emotions whilst captivating the bands intriguing creativity.
As Hayden says “Being cantankerous is as good a motivating force as any, to be honest.” What a fantastic word and a great way to describe how this album has been produced and put together to come up with a very individual and unique record. It combines all Wild Beasts’ ideas and talents into an awesome result. With support from Zane Lowe, naming it his record of the week, it is sure to be a big hit among music enthusiasts.
Present Tense comes out on 24th February 2014 and can be ordered via iTunes. Those who were lucky enough to get tickets will catch them live at their album launch on the 26th at XOYO and, for those who weren’t as quick off the mark, their UK tour starts end of March.