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. But the tide might be turning with the band’s latest offering: Present Tense 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 this is 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.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.