Wild Ones - Keep It Safe (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Wild Ones

Keep It Safe (2014)


With a name like Wild Ones, I would expect some punk to them. Instead of the harder stuff, Wild Ones are a stripped down, dream-pop five-piece that paint shoegaze portraits and churn out breezy melodic songs, track after track after track. Their sound doesn't diverge much and that could be a bit of a bump in the road, but as far as straightforward, non-complex indie music goes, Keep It Safe holds its own pretty well and simmers nicely if you're a fan of Now, Now and Eisley.

Makthaverskan was a Swedish indie-pop band that's been in my player for a couple weeks now and Wild Ones follow the same musical structure but with less aggression. I can't help but have them back-to-back because they are such perfect foils to each other. It's an odd contrast but listening to them both frequently adds a lot of balance to both styles. Both are, fantastically, female-fronted but Wild Ones play in a calmer sandbox of DIY indie. Their music is tweaked in a manner to evoke that 'revisiting the past' theme and it's a sonic trip doing so to the likes of "Curse Over Me" and "Rivals." They swim in electronic indie-pop which slow the world's pace down.

This formula applies throughout the record with percussive flair forming the base of their synth-pop vibe. Even the retro ballad "18 Mile Island" doesn't waver much from the set sound of the band. What allows them to get away with this is vocalist Danielle Sullivan, who funnels deep emotion into a clean-cut, near-flawless voice. She definitely stands out more than I think the band would have anticipated. "Row" is meticulous in its math-rock essence but still well-informed by the pop side of Wild Ones. They offer a hallucinating feel sometimes which is a natural fit to what bands like The Naked and Famous are packaged as- soothing, indie constructs.

Given the self-titled closer ends on a twinkly, piano-driven theme, it's apparent that Sullivan's the one meant to shine on the record because their arrangements mull around her storytelling and she takes full advantage of this. Keep It Safe is warm, relaxed and seems built on romance and love. Came for the punk, stayed for Danielle Sullivan. It's a sincere record that establishes itself well with suckers like me.