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This Wild Life Hits the Mark with “Low Tides”

“Low Tides” is the band’s second album since signing on with Epitaph Records.

Kathryn Leeber
Connector Contributor

In what can best be described as acoustic pop punk, the sophomore album from This Wild Life is an excellent follow up to 2014’s “Clouded.” The unique duo of singer and guitarist Kevin Jordan and lead guitarist Anthony Del Grosso have created an album with ambient instrumentals in support of emotional lyrics. As compared to “Clouded,” this record is a bit more upbeat, filled with faster drums and other more unusual instruments, like horns.

The opening track ‘Hit the Reset’ was released previously as a single. It is a slower, emotional break up song that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. The smooth backing tracks and calm beats match Jordan’s vocals incredibly well. The drums and Jordan’s voice pick up more in the passionate chorus. The next song was the lead single, ‘Pull Me Out.’ One of my favorite songs off the album, this track is very powerful, lyrically and instrumentally. Jordan has so much emotion in his voice, singing right from the start “Your pinky made a promise that you couldn’t keep / You said you’d never leave, You said you’d never leave.” Del Grosso’s guitar work is phenomenal throughout the record and it shines through in this track. There is an interesting guitar solo towards the end where a pause makes it seems like the song will end before the guitars pick back up.

As the album progresses, the overall tempo increases and the feeling of the songs become a bit more upbeat. ‘Let Go’ features guest vocals from Maya Tuttle, the lead singer and drummer of the band The Colourist. ‘Let Go’ is exactly about what the title suggests; letting someone go, even if it is difficult. There are more drums in this song, and while the lyrics are fairly sad, the upbeat nature of the track and the feeling it evokes makes for a lighter song. Tuttle’s vocals pair quite nicely with Jordan’s and in her emotional verse she sings “Wondering if you’re wandering / Do you regret almost everything? / I’ll try to breathe easier / I hope this gets easier.” Similarly, ‘Falling Down’ is just as emotional as the next song, but it sounds lighter, with more pop-like drum beats.

While most of the songs do sound alike, the brutally relatable and honest lyrics are what really make this album. It does not contain cliché, over-used themes and phrases, but instead, Jordan finds unique ways to express his thoughts, with lyrics such as “I sent a one eyed text a little too honest / Between the ninth and tenth I think I lost my head” in ‘Red Room.’ The album closes with another break up song, ‘Brick Wall.’ Again, the lyrics and vocal abilities are what fuel the song. Jordan sings powerfully at the start, “I’ve got a feeling that we’re closer to the end than where we began / So just let me go, send me home, give me away / And throw me away.”

While focusing on the lyrics, the instrumentals in the background do an incredible job of adding to the rawness of the songs and they allow you to feel the emotion even more. Specifically, the horns in ‘Red Room’ are a great touch that adds to the powerful tone. ‘Change My Sheets’ incorporates electronic drum sounds, more so than any other song on the record. Although they are known for their signature guitar sounds, the use of more instruments in this album really paid off and allowed them to build on their sound. Still, the soft, melancholic sounds these instruments create fits with the break up themes that resonate in this album.

Although many of the tracks on this record definitely do sound similar, the varied instrumentals and airy feel of the tracks makes for a forceful record. Impassioned lyrics and vocals work quite well with the guitars and drums to make the record even stronger. If you enjoy slower songs with emotional hooks, this is a great album to check out. If you like what you hear, you can catch This Wild Life on their headlining tour this fall with Have Mercy and Movements.

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