Tuesday, 29 May 2018

MUSIC REVIEW + INTERVIEW | Wild Front - 'Simmer Down'

Hello everyone, it's been a while!

I have some new music to tell you about today, curtesy of an endearing Southampton four-piece! Get ready for a tune that is going to strike a real cord.

I haven't said much about it on this blog, for the simple reason that I haven't had the time I'd like to dedicate to fully going into it, but for the past eight months I've living in the beautiful town and National Park of Banff in Canada. To live in a place of such breathtaking, natural beauty is surreal and an absolute dream, but there are downsides to living amongst the isolation of the mountains. Such as a lack of a diverse and energetic music scene, which as you all know, is vital to my functional existence and sanity. It was therefore such a gift when I was contacted a few weeks ago by LD Communications asking me if I'd like to do a little work with a rising band on their roster; the charming boys of Wild Front.

As is my rule before agreeing to collaborate with any artist, I had to check them out to see if they were a band I would genuinely listen to and enjoy. I'm happy to say they passed the test! The first song I heard from Wild Front was their spine-tingling single 'Rico', which intrigued me and coaxed me to delve deeper into their sound. I found their music a little reminiscent to the likes of Amber Run, but original enough to prevent them from disappearing into the unidentifiable blur of the indie rock genre. There's a healthy dose of integrity to their tracks, some solid arrangements and a touch of true sentiment.

Wild Front have released two EPs until now; their debut, 'Physics' in 2017 which propelled them straight into the view of some of the industry's most reputable news sources, such as Radio 1 and NME. Not to mention their being chosen to play Glastonbury's BBC Introducing Stage by none other than co-organiser of the event, Emily Eavis herself, in 2017. At the beginning of the year they also released their EP 'Stripped' which featured five of their favourite tracks in new, acoustic arrangements. I'm happy to say that this was just a prequel to the main event, and that Wild Front have since been back in the studio under the watchful ear of Fred Cox, who has helped them produce their first full album to be released later this year. I don't yet know the date of the release, but to get the ball rolling, I can share with you all Wild Front's new single, taken from the aforementioned album, their cathartic and catchy track; 'Simmer Down'.

REVIEW - Simmer Down

This track has a flavour we can each of us relate to, and a pretty raw one at that. It's about letting go; the finality of stepping out of a chapter of your life with someone and the brutal reality of having to walk on alone. Opening with a confident guitar riff and beat, Josh's drums mimic the rhythm of your feet hitting the solid ground, almost to say 'this is life, you have to face it'. Then comes in Jack's voice with a presence you cannot ignore, similar to that of the doubt that follows a failed relationship and you in turn. This track is almost a conversation with the voice in the back of your head, the paranoia that tags along uninvited, the baggage you carry with you until that moment when you finally drop it and you're clean and free.

'Simmer Down' is a sleek and infectious track to empower your stride and start afresh a new mindset that leaves the past in the past. Jack's chorus of "How does it feel to be on your own?" will draw out the resilient side of you, it's not a taunt, it's freedom. As an opening single this bodes well for Wild Front's forthcoming album; it is polished, confident and enticing. The melody is fresh and has a good kick to it, it's a fierce track.

To be contacted on behalf of Wild Front and asked to write about their music was a gift itself, being granted the opportunity to submit some of my own questions to them was amazing. I was so excited to hear what the boys had to say about their new single, album and all of the incredible milestones they have coming up this year, 2018 is going to be a big one for them!


Q: ‘Simmer Down’ has a very cathartic feeling to it, as if you’re letting go of any potential baggage you’re holding on to. What’s the story behind it?
 A: That’s a pretty apt description of the song to be fair. It’s based around the idea of feeling like the best thing for a relationship is actually to end it and be apart, no matter how much you want to fight the idea. How does it feel to be alone, rather than in a relationship, and is that actually the best outcome. It’s a fairly angst cry in the chorus. I’d say the chorus is more of an introspective discussion rather than an outwards expression.

Q: What can we expect from the new album? 
A: The chilled, summery and driving vibes heard on 'Simmer Down' are certainly a theme that will run throughout the album. We have a few different aspects to our sound, so the album will be a real mix of that. Expect a bit of chilled ambience, a fair few bouncy, foot tappers and a few tracks with a slightly darker, rockier edge! Don’t want to give too much away…

Q: What was the writing process and production like for you?
A: A lot of the writing starts with the four of us sitting in our rehearsal space in Joe’s (guitarist) garden and spending a little bit of time jamming on some ideas until something more solid appears. That will then be taken away and vocal lines and lyrics will be added. It sometimes happens in the reverse way, but that’s definitely been a common process for this bunch of tracks. We’ve been working with Fred Cox in his studio to produce the tracks, and he’s been such a gem to work with. We’re usually fairly set on how we want the tracks to sound when we go in with him but he’s been such a welcome addition in the process and has really understood how to take our ideas and let them flourish. He’s also hilarious, which really helps!

Q: What does the rest of your year look like after the release of the album?
A: We’re going to be releasing a track from the album every two months up until May next year, to give every track a real chance to be heard. As a band nowadays, streaming is such a key aspect of trying to get your music out there, so we don’t want to waste any chance to get the tracks heard! We’ve got lots of festivals lined up, and then we’re off on a headline tour in October, playing Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds, London, Brighton and then our biggest ever hometown show in Southampton which we are massively excited about! 

Q: What does playing the main stage of the Isle of Wight Festival mean to you guys?
A: It is a huge honour for us. Growing up in Southampton, Isle of Wight Festival has always been the local big festival; it’s so mad that we’ve been given an opportunity as huge as that. 

Q: There’s a lot of hype around you guys at the moment, with all the festivals you’re playing and from BBC Introducing. Where do you hope this will take you?
A: We’ve always been part of different music projects in Southampton growing up, and we’re so overwhelmed by all the support we’ve got over the last few years. We just love playing and performing, and just hope that we get the chance for our music to be heard by more people and play to more and more people. It’s always nice to communicate to people through your own music and we just hope that will continue!

I'm anticipating great things from these boys this year, there's already such a maturity and identity to their music that I'm sure all of the experiences they have in store this year will foster and encourage. They are so deserving of the opportunities they have and the hype that's been stirred around them, as someone who really appreciates good lyrics, I think the stories they tell will surely connect a lot of people, which is what music is all about.

I hope you all enjoy 'Simmer Down' and are now waiting in eager anticipation, as am I, for their upcoming album. As I mentioned, Wild Front will be playing at festivals all over the country this year and if you're nearby I'd definitely check out their tour, I really wish I was home to see it! I'd like to say thank you again to Wild Front for involving me in this. I wish them the best of luck with all everything they have planned for this year and here's to this leg of their journey, may it be take them further still!

I hope you enjoyed this post and I'll see you all soon.


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