Review: Wild Ones – Heatwave EP

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Heatwave is a unique and upbeat follow up EP to Wild Ones' previous release, Keep it Safe.

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Following the release of their popular debut album Keep it Safe in 2014, Portland band Wild Ones have been touring extensively in the US. Their poppy riffs and atmospheric vocals make them comparable to other indie artists such as Dan Croll, Tennis and fellow Portlanders Pure Bathing Culture, who they are touring with later this year. Despite being a predominantly punk and emo label, Topshelf Records – which boasts the likes of Nai Harvest and A Great Big Pile of Leaves on their books – signed Wild Ones back in 2012 showing that the band are grabbing people’s attention outside of their musical realm.

Heatwave marks a far easier release than their first record, under which Wild Ones were almost forced to break up, but this new, cohesive EP proves that they are here to stay.

Heatwave continues the work of Keep it Safe by exhibiting the distinctive vocals of lead singer Danielle Sullivan over infectious synth-pop melodies. However, where this new EP differs is in its move away from the at times melancholic tunes to form a more upbeat and danceable record. The title track ‘Heatwave’ sets the tone for their latest release with their familiar synth-pop sound coming through as strong as ever. Sullivan’s catchy vocals make it one of those songs you can sing along to after only a couple of listens. ‘Dim the Lights’ and ‘Show Me Islands’ rapidly follow, establishing the complexity of the EP with understated guitar lines and driving synths. With lyrics such as “our youth is gone and so we revel in the new age” and “a little place where they can understand me” the EP evokes themes of misunderstood youth and growing up, something which no doubt many of their fans will relate to. The record culminates with reflective track ‘Loveless’, which marks the sophisticated combination of new and old by exhibiting their roots, as well as their musical progression.

While still remaining relatively under the radar in the UK, this EP has the potential to bring Wild Ones into the limelight on the indie music scene. With the rise of female-led bands such as Best Coast, The Naked and Famous and Daughter, there appears to be a gap in UK music for this innovative and unique band, so this record is definitely worth a listen.

Heatwave is out now via Topshelf Records.

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