Artists of the week: Wild Beasts
Wild Beasts are an English indie rock group formed by Hayden Thorpe (guitar, vocals), Tom Fleming (bass, vocals), Ben Little (guitar) and Chris Talbot (drums). After recording a self-titled EP, the band released 2008’s Limbo-Panto, an energetic full-length that combined overtly libidinous lyrics with an uncanny R&B sensitivity and a subtle penchant for experimentation that would become the band’s trademark sound for years to come. Though their following records, 2009’s Mercury Prize nominated Two Dancers and 2011’s Smother, further increased their reputation among critics, Wild Beasts remained one of the best kept secrets in indie rock and their popularity failed to go beyond their cult following. Things changed a little bit with 2014′s Present Tense that not only kept gathering the habitual bunch of rave reviews, but also managed to be their first UK Top 10 album, which could be considered surprising if one considers that it was by far their most dense and adult-sounded record to date, trading guitars for synthesizers and approaching their habitual themes of loss and lust with a focus that is genuinely spellbinding.
The new Boy King is a considerable change of focus and pace for the band: the core elements are still there, but but they’re glitched-up and garbled, exposing raw themes of sexuality and lust and proving that are open to not only refinement but reinvention.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.