Wild Ones - Heatwave [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Wild Ones

Heatwave [EP] (2015)


If you're looking for a musical layout a la The Naked And Famous or Phantogram, then Wild Ones would cure that fix. Daneille Sullivan's coy delivery and susceptible nature on the mic caught me a couple years ago when Topshelf put out Keep It Safe which I jumped into thinking it was a punk record. Imagine my surprise when I was caught with an inventive synth-pop record that calmed the part of me clamouring a punk rock beast. Heatwave is an EP that follows in similar fashion with a narrative that melodically toys around the life's turmoil and perseverance backed by soothing drum beats, pianos and haunting rhythms. If Drive had a modern soundtrack, this'd be it.

The Portland group brought in Telekinesis’ Michael Lerner to mix and Grammy-nominated engineer Jeff Lipton to master the project and it shows with the quality of the product. High, to say the least. You sense the passion of Sullivan reminiscing about passing through the threshold of youth into that of adulthood and as she said, it's all about being "confused and unready". She further stated that the album's concept revolves around female characters that are "fierce and brave. The stories live in humid summer nights in big cities off the coast" -- and the minimal electronic sounds mapped out here illuminate such beautifully. The opening tracks in "Heatwave" and "Dim The Lights" grace you with a comforting mix of dream pop structures.

Her dazzling voice washes over the instruments with strong clarity as she really pours into her storytelling. It's elegant how Sullivan swirls over the danceable beats and oh-so infectious rhythms. "Show Me Islands" further exemplifies this to cap off another gem from Wild Ones that's restless and one which contains so many layers of sonic exploration and pop structure, that you can tell it's all about the band locked in the dark and peeking out at the world for the first time. Life seems foreign and scary. They explore that pretty well. Doesn't feel like a big step up from their last couple records but they're sticking to form and hey, it's working...