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Wild Child

Thursday, May 3, 2018, 3:00 AM


with The Deer, Stelth Ulvang
Wild Child won't settle. For seven years now the Austin-based ensemble has carried its infectious blend of indie-pop and infectious melodies across the international music scene, charting viral hits and wrapping their arms around a diverse and dedicated fan base. But earlier this year when the band set out to make their fourth studio album, they found they had their hands full: After half a decade of maturation, the group had grown beyond its traditional writing and recording process.We had too many ideas for how we wanted to make this record says Kelsey Wilson, the groups lead vocalist and violinist. She shrugs. So we said, Why not just do all of them?The group realized this offered an exciting opportunity to make a kind of record bands rarely get right: To take a new, multispectral approach to writing and recording that went beyond simply trying to engineer success. The band made a list of their favorite musicians who were also great producers in their own right choosing ones they thought would shine a new and unique light on specific compositions and then Wild Child set about chasing their album from studio to studio all over the world, never saying no to an idea.The result the bands fourth album, Expectations is Wild Childs most creative, colorful and intellectually engaging album to date.Now a seven-piece pop mini-orchestra (Wilson on violin and vocals; Alexander Beggins on ukulele and vocals; Sadie Wolfe on cello; Matt Bradshaw on keyboards, trumpet, and harmonica; Tom Myers on drums; Cody Ackors on guitar and trombone; and Tyler Osmond on bass), Wild Child formed in 2010 when the group's core duo of Wilson and Beggins wrote and released their first album, Pillow Talk. Wild Child shaped their last record, Fools, in the shadows of more than one failed love, and Expectations, as the title suggests, is a continuation of that personal experience into an awakening. Wilson and Beggins, whose voices fit each other as naturally as any family act, pushed their boundaries as writers, drawing freely from the stories they've lived as well as the artists around the world that have inspired their growth. Their rate of output over that last year got them thinking differently about producing, focusing on one track at a time. Weve always focused on the record as a whole. We wanted to think about each track as its own piece- but somehow it all fits together Wilson says of the approach.That route took them around the world from Chris Walla's (Death Cab For Cutie) studio in Troms, Norway, where the Northern Lights are the brightest in the world, to a home-built warehouse studio on the outskirts of Philadelphia, where Dr. Dog's Scott McMicken picked up the bass and joined the band for a week, arranging harmonies and sharing living and recording space. Back in Wimberley, Texas, Matthew Logan Vasquez (Delta Spirit) set up a makeshift studio in Kelsey Wilsons beloved childhood home abandoned since the floods of 2015 where they found the muses were eager to resurface. The group also tapped the talents of frequent tour mate Chris Boosahda (Shakey Graves), Atlantic Records recording artist Max Frost, and Grammy-winning producer Adrian Quesada (Groupo Fantasma, Brown Sabbath, Spanish Gold).The result is a theater of possibilities, with arrangements that reflect the range of tastes of the producers, from scruffy lo-fi tape hiss, to smoothed out precision-cut electronic pop sounds. Smartly, the album avoids defining itself and kicks off with a childs voice telling Alexander Beggins, "Don't think that way." The track that follows (called "Alex") is a hook-spangled opener which in its three breezy minutes builds from a single ukulele to a lush and playful arrangement reminiscent of Beirut.The record almost immediately settles in to find the band at its most expansive. Songs like "My Town" and the deep-breathing "Eggshells" stretch the spaces between beats like a Chinese finger/time trap. They stop for more than one

Cost: $16 adv / $18 door
Tickets: http://www.ticketnetwork.com/tix/tickets-3352359.aspx

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777 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

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