For the release of their next single “Reach A Bit Further,” taken from their critically acclaimed third full length Smother, Wild Beasts have decided to pull together the Smother b-sides and “Thankless Thing” is the only previously unheard song that is included. Wild Beasts produce outlandish and grandiose theatrical pop songs that sneakily embed their way into your heart with Thorpe and Fleming’s crooning vocals, and this is no exception. As with all Wild Beasts material, the song grabs your attention throughout despite being on the long side at over 5 and a half minutes. Quivering echoed synths and a recurring woozy guitar riff take centre stage alongside Thorpe’s lamenting vocals.
With b-sides, you’d expect a watered-down version of the album content but “Thankless Thing” is so strong that it would’ve fit in quite nicely amongst the other tracks on Smother. The song provokes images of those heart-warming memories in a relationship but also the sour moments when you realise things are starting to go downhill. Thorpe describes the love as ”A broken old branch where crow goes to sing” and it’s strange to get the juxtaposition of natural imagery alongside the theme of love. Another complex but oddly genius offering from a band that seem to be unable to do anything wrong.