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Wild Beasts


[Domino; 2011]

By ; March 10, 2011 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

In the buildup to the release of Wild Beasts’ third album Smother, one comment that keeps getting thrown around is the Talk Talk influence that has gone into its making. While that influence is not explicit on “Albatross” there are certainly nods to the style and instrumentation of Spirit Of Eden. Rather than go for an immediate hook accompanied by an upbeat drum line, a basic combination that worked wonders for them on their last album Two Dancers, Wild Beasts have brought forth a slower, more brooding sound that was previously heard on tracks like “Two Dancers II.”

The song starts off with slow, delicate hum of strings before the main core lets itself known in the form of smooth, gently pulsating bass, plucked guitars and delicate percussion. Hayden Thorpe’s signature falsetto is more measured here than we’ve heard him previously and it glides through the song, cutting out the beautiful and subtle hook. “Albatross” is lacking in any distinct chorus, but when Thorpe sings “I blame you/I blame you/for all of those things I’ve been through” and there is a slight swell of piano and strings, it’s a beautiful moment that will live long in the memory.

As a single it’s a far cry from the immediately recognisable “Hooting and Howling” that preceded their last album, but much of Two Dancers hinted that the band had grander ideas in store. “Albatross” is the first indication that the band have acted on those impulses. If Smother does turn out to be anything like one of the later Talk Talk records then it comes as no surprise that “Albatross” has been released as a single because the rest could end up being a whole lot more challenging for the listener. So far we’ve only seen the first piece of the puzzle, but it leaves the impression that we may have something spectacular in store on Smother.

Wild Beasts – Albatross by DominoRecordCo


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