Wild Child Album Preview: Expectations

Austin-based band Wild Child announced tour dates for their forthcoming album, Expectations. The group, led by Alexander Beggins and Kelsey Wilson, are known for their unique and modern take on folk-rock.

Their 2015 LP, Fools, featured songs like “Meadows” and “Reno” that undulated between soft acoustic sounds and louder percussion paired with distorted vocals. In a manner similar to that of Bob Dylan, Beggins and Wilson write stories of young love and heartbreak, finding a way to give an emotional universality to personal pain. It’s this pairing of profoundly simple lyrics with enticingly repetitive rhythms that makes their sound different from other members of the singer/songwriter genre.

In anticipation of their fourth LP, Expectations, the quintet released two songs: title-track, “Expectations,” and “Think It Over.” In a stark difference from the rest of their albums, iTunes has labeled Expectations as an alternative rock album instead of a singer/songwriter one. This difference is obvious in “Think It Over,” a bass-drum-driven song that backs the story of a love triangle with a rhythmic ebb and flow that balances a new harder rock sound with the folk of Wild Child’s previous albums.

“Expectations,” similarly rocks with the beat of the drum, but also adds distortion in the guitar and vocals, letting them wail and scream in a way that was more restrained in Fools. A song about the unrealistic expectations and disappointments of relationships, it ends not in a tone of melancholy, but in one of vexation, giving a new and powerful dimension to the band’s sound.

The folk-poetry sound of Wild Child was always strong, but Expectation’s evolution into rock better suits the band in an era of cultural irritation. If the rhythms of Fools incited toe-tapping, then those of Expectations add some head-banging, while still maintaining the lyrical beauty that Beggins and Wilson have always achieved.

Expectations is set to come out on February 9, 2018 with Wild Child scheduled to play Union Transfer on March 21 in a show you won’t want to miss.

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