Wildcat! Wildcat!: Too Underground for You?
Wildcat! Wildcat! is the name of a new band that just released their first EP, which consists of four beautifully constructed songs.
“The Chief” leads you into the album with a swanky beat, accompanied by a simple piano playing in the background. Right away, you’ll notice that these songs contain few lyrics; they aren’t trying to cram in as many words as possible. Rather, they let their voices stretch out the words, letting them ring out and fade away into the melody. I’ve always had a fond appreciation of these sorts of songs. The song ends with a saxophone solo that comes into the foreground, allowing the voices to be the background accompaniment.
When I first heard “Garden Grays,” I immediately thought of skipping through a field of flowers. The song narrates the process of growing older, emotionally pleading to the listener to “play while you’re still young.” The words themselves are barely audible; sometimes they are just reduced to incomprehensible humming, but this band manages to bring their voices together harmoniously, creating a balance that is surprisingly maintained through all of their songs. The bridge is definitely the best part of the song, and the anticipation build-up to it is a single drumbeat and a few piano chords. The very last line of lyrics is again, the half-haunting, half-thought-provoking phrase, “play while you’re still young,” ringing in your ears. While this wasn’t the first song to draw me to the album, I do believe that it’s become my favorite.
“Mr. Quiche” is actually the very first song I heard from Wildcat! Wildcat!, and led me to fall in love with this trio of guys. Smooth electric piano notes mesh with a tambourine that climaxes at the introduction of voices. The lyrics are persistent; “it’s another lonely day” echoes throughout the entire song; the words run into each other line after line. It’s the sort of song that is best sung swaying back and forth in your room, with your eyes closed.
The EP closes with “Please & Thank You,” which is filled with mysterious lyrics and ringing piano notes. Let the thrashes of synth pervade your eardrums; the introduction generates an unprecedented sensation of suspense, allowing an almost psychedelic groove to take over.
The entire album reminds me of lullabies. The album cover is even hallucinatory and trippy, depicting an individual falling through the air or doing some sort of backflip. It’s simple and makes people wonder. I recommend sampling Wildcat! Wildcat! when you’re intent on slowing down your heartbeat. This music is perfect for when you’re chilling on your carpet, closing your eyes while lying back on your bed, driving to school in the rain, looking to concentrate on your studies, or reflecting late at night.
If you are a fan of electro pop or indie pop, I highly recommend W!W!. The high voices and frequent falsetto are reminiscent of bands such Passion Pit, and the sparse and echoing lyrics seem to indicate that Wildcat! Wildcat! and City and Colour might be compatible bands. They have toured with similar bands such as Passion Pit, Alt-J, and Portugal. The Man.
If you’re like me, you’ll try to listen to music just for the music and completely disregard band histories and biographies. However, if knowing a little bit about the musicians helps provide a little depth and context, Jesse Taylor (vocals and bass), Michael Wilson (vocals and keys), and Jesse Carmichael (vocals and drums) are from Los Angeles, and made it big time when they teamed up with Passion Pit at the South by Southwest Musical Festival (SXSW) earlier this year. They both were the subjects of a documentary, Hello Everywhere (Feed the Beat), which narrates their performances during the Festival.
I’m a picker-and-chooser, a single-song-buyer, if you will. Thus, I knew that this album was something special, and that the band deserves recognition simply because I love every single one of their songs, and I listen to the entire EP on repeat. That’s rare.
If you find yourself enjoying Wildcat! Wildcat!, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s more to this band than just a 4 song extended play. One more song is available if you look hard enough on the Internet, and it’s “End of the World Everyday,” a tune strikingly similar to the songs on the mini album, with contemporary bass and feathery voices.
– inspired by the WWC
– written for my school’s newspaper (I’m a music columnist!)