January, for most people, is a proactive time. It’s a month for planning and of course looking forward. So it’s only natural that my first post of the year be of a revisionist nature. 2014 may or may not go down in the annuls of time as a particular stellar vintage for musical offerings. But I thought I might as well mark the past year with some albums that caught my attention and provided a more that pleasing soundtrack.

Wild Beasts – Present Tense

There’s no better place to start then with one of my favourites. Although I must also begin with this minor confession, I have never really been the biggest fan of the Kendal based indie contingent (yes I did have to Google where they are from). But whilst I may not have been a fan, I in no way detested any of their previous releases. You could even say that I was completely oblivious to their back-catalogue. But at this stage you’re probably more interested in why this album took my fancy?

Present Tense in its entirety is a study in pop music. It is an album which begs and borrows from classics throughout the decades and yet does well to shade any over-obvious references to its benefactors. Whilst the ‘P’ word (yes still talking about pop) has been demonized by the generic mind-numbing offerings of the dreaded daytime radio stations (rant over, I promise), it is really refreshing to see Wild Beasts return some respectability to the once respected genre.

The album, the bands fourth studio release, is an ear-pleasing collection of delicately balanced tracks brought to life through upbeat keys, mellow synth and a most impressive vocal contrast between Hayden Thorpe and Ben Little. Standout tracks from Present Tense include:

Wild Beasts – Mecca

and of course

Wild Beasts – A Simple Beautiful Truth

You’d be hard pressed to find a better use of a metallic trench coat in any other music video!

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One thought on “Wild Beasts – Present Tense

  1. Mecca is an incredible song. Excellent pick. If you can find the Youtube live acoustic performance I suggest you watch it. Wanderlust, New Life, and Palace are my other favourites off the album. But if you haven’t already, check out All the King’s Men and Albatross, two more fantastic tracks from the band.

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