Wild Child Is Less Wild (and More Grown-Up) Than Their Name Suggests
The band’s sugary brand of folk pop is made even sweeter by string arrangements and warm, nostalgia-tinged vocals.
Wild Child is still a misnomer, though less so now than it was when the Austin-based band released their debut album, Pillow Talk. That record’s 15 love songs always teetered on the verge of sounding too sweet, even when the subject matter wasn’t (like the couple contemplating suicide in “The Tale of You & Me”). Founding members Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins cowrote Pillow Talk’s folk-pop tunes at home over bottles of wine, and the album’s cover even depicts the duo perched comfortably on a couch. Sure, Beggins proudly flaunts his bare feet, but that’s about as wild as the band’s debut gets.
The cover of Wild Child’s latest effort, The Runaround, promises something a bit less domesticated. It features a pair of children who resemble Wilson and Beggins posing in a forest with wolves. Now that’s more like it. The Ben Kweller–produced songs are similarly bolstered by a heightened sense of urgency, particularly the title track. “I curse the way I let you stay another day,” Wilson croons with a voice that sounds like it was plucked from a turn-of-the-century cabaret.
Last year was good to Wild Child. Their single “Living Tree” was named to an NPR year-end list, and their SXSW performance even garnered some local love from the Austin Chronicle. Now that they’re backed by a full band that includes strings, keys, banjo, and percussion, it seems likely their show will hold up on the road.
Listen to “Living Tree” from Wild Child’s new album, The Runaround.
Photo courtesy of Magen Buse and All Eyes Media