Although Wild Beasts’ latest album, “Present Tense,” was released in February — eons ago in the music business– it still stands as one of the strongest of the year.
If you haven’t listened to Wild Beasts in a while, it’s time to fall in love with their gorgeous melodies all over again.
The sound created by the British techno-electric mood band is elegant and lush. The band seems to possess an utterly original world view, mixing politics and love like smoky 1940s film noir. It’s emotionally heavy but classically spare.
Hayden Thorpe, Tom Fleming and Benny Little share vocals, which can range from a deep baritone to notes in an elegant, much higher register.
Their strong voices marry perfectly with the songs’ pretty piano melodies.
There are singular qualities about each song that make the album, and band, one of the best in synth-pop today.
“Wanderlust” is quietly defiant. “Mecca” and “Palace” are almost classical in quality yet still an emotional rise. “Past perfect,” while bright, is also deeply engrossing. “Pregnant Pause” is solemnly muted, while the single “Simple Beautiful Truth” is simply a standout.
On the melancholy “Dogs Life,” the drum that seems to continuously drop on a floor is an Emily Dickinson poem for the 21st century.
Besides the band’s precise technical ability and talent to experiment, Wild Beasts’ lyrics are a work of English art.
Deliberate phrases like “Tender hands do heal the hurt,” “Every man deserve his dignity” and words like “zeal,” “voluptuous” and “quenched” recall a dusty yet rich Shakespearean tome which is easier to understand.
There’s nothing extraneous on “Present Tense”– songs are all full to the brim. If Wild Beasts don’t see themselves as perfectionists by now, they should.
With each listen to “Present Tense,” it’s more and more apparent the members of Wild Beasts are in sync with one another and what they want to achieve in music.