We Were Wild
When you're used to something, routine can be the most fun thing to smash to pieces. So it was that Esmé's efficient, straight-from-live recordings that served her so well for debut All Princes, I and breakthrough album 2014's Woman To Woman were jettisoned in favour of a prolonged period of pre-production. With it came splashes of vibrant colour, a swirl of hazy reverb, a twang of country and some sharper, more distorted and choppier electric guitars. It all lends necessary contrast and depth to the albums theme of seeking what Esmé's spirit needs, and indeed perhaps helping the listener on their way too, as explicitly suggested in 'Find It'.
'Feel Right' is a high energy opener, a happy-go-lucky Esmé careening into early 2000s garage rock. As a statement of intention lyrically and musically, it goes a long way to explaining the rest of the album, while sounding a little off kilter from it. No River is a little more familiar but with the misty echoes and brittle sounds promised earlier, all allowing Esmé's evocative voice to swim in textured waters. 'The Waves' draws the sound underwater, adding a murkier, mysterious swarm of sound. 'Waitin' Ain't Gettin'' pedal steels to safety, gliding on a gorgeous shimmering melody. Lynchpin track 'Find It' has an almost doo-wop verse and chiming chords contrasting a sober warning about waiting too long to seek what you desire.
We Were Wild is a cohesive but experimental album, teasing further ambitions without losing the glorious clutch of melodies and harmonies that hammers Esmé's songwriting into your heart every time. Last time around, Esmé broke stereotypes and the one-dimensional views on females in songs. This time she's snapping her own restraints and weaving her way to more freedom than she ever thought she could have.
For fans of: Ex Hex, Caitlin Rose, Lucy Dacus, Neko Case, Jenny Lewis, Frank Turner
- Feel Right
- No River
- Moth Song
- The Waves
- Wantin Ain't Gettin
- Come See Me
- We Were Wild
- Find It
- Yours and Mine
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