Sound — 7
Harnessing the flower child pop springs of The Submarines and the woodsy folk ringlets of Peter Bjorn & John, New Hampshire's Wild Light bring out folk-pop's poetic facets as the quartet looms melodies that are easy to hum along to while putting a little lift in one's step. The overall tone of the band's debut album Adult Nights is affable and peppy as the songs capture the lukewarm timbres of lead singer/guitarist Jordan Alexander and his esteemed colleagues, drummer Seth Kasper and multi-instrumentalists/vocalists Seth Pittman and Tim Kile, who weave their mercurial threads around Alexander's musings drawing out the keen perceptions of his words. Moving from the delicately honeyed sonnets of a lover's tryst to toe-tapping romps, Wild Light's folk-induced arches are mutable, continually changing with the mood of the lyrical content and showing that there is more than one side to their music. The nimble movements of California On My Mind offer an optimistic outlook on a gloomy situation, and Canyon City continues along a similar stratum while being led by positive thinking. Wild Light's steed of upbeat folk falls into mellow contemplation on Surf Generation as the whistles of a moaning harmonica peek in and out of the melodic dirges. Wild Light take advantage of having three singers on Call Home as the three vocalists sing the verses in tight unison. The silky wavelets of Heart Attack resonate with a romantic lilt, and the country-folk inflections of Future Towns have a mellifluous drift that exhumes feelings of regret attached to a desire to mend broken hearts. Wild Light's album can be succinctly summarized as being cathartic and providing a means to get in touch with one's emotions. Filled with optimism and moments of retrospection, Wild Light's songs appeal to human desires and the basic need for unpretentious joy.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics sometimes seem autobiographical and sometimes they are conversational as if speaking to a specific person like in New Year's Eve when Jordan Alexander uncovers, There was something in your heart you could not see You keep searching in the bed where you were born. The lyrics feel personal and reveal private thoughts like in New Hampshire with descriptive verses like There's a place in the town where a car crashed / There's a fork in the road where a car crashed / There's a house on the hill where the wind blows / There's a house on a hill where the wind slows down / My family, one generation ago / My family, two generations ago / My family, three generations ago / My family, four generations ago / There's a room in the house where the dad sighs / There's a room in the house where the mom lies down.
Overall Impression — 7
It is easy to appreciate that Wild Light's emotions go unchecked in their songs. Nothing is off limits to discuss in their lyrics, and their rapport is easy-going as they indulge liberally in their creative urges. The majority of the album keeps to a folksy bent while veering the songs to feeling bright and light-hearted with a series of lacey twitters, bucolic tones, and flouncy melodic twirls. The warm esthetics of the melodies are appealing and reminiscent of Peter Bjorn & John. It's a album that spurs old memories while moving in the direction of finding fulfillment.