Editor's Rating

8.3
Top Shelf Records

Wild Ones are an indie pop band from Portland, Oregon – as always, a petrie dish of artistic creativity. With an EP already under their belt, Wild Ones are about to release their debut album, “Mirror Touch”, and in a crowded bus of indie pop/rock brilliance, they stand out with their effervescent, shining, intelligent pop. With more of a synth spine, Wild Ones have a distinctive sound – I would almost venture to say an electronic trip-hop R&B soundtrack with vocalist Danielle Sullivan subverting this with her melancholic indie pop sensibility. It is a sound that recalls contemporary bands like Alvvays or Fazerdaze and even Lorde but also more old school bands like The Cocteau Twins, The Sundays or Saint Etienne.

Latest single, “Standing in the Back at Your Show” captures this eclectic mix well:

With echoes, dare I say, of Wham (Last Christmas?) it is a yearning, melodic drifting song, guitars slightly more to the fore.

First single off the album, “Paresthesia” shuffles with a percussive spine and Sullivan’s vocals creating a beautiful tension with the bright pop beat underlying the song. Lyrically, Wild Ones show they are not adverse to intelligent, darker explorations about the dissonance of life:

The rest of the album strongly maintains the quality of songwriting – second track “Do You Really” is an anthemic, melody-driven song that could just as easily been a single contender (and may well indeed become one). Last track, “No Money”, a scything reflection of the materialist society ends the album with its signature musical complexity and Sullivan’s visceral lyrics that infuse anger with a healthy degree of humour. And this humour reflects the intelligence in many of the songs such as “Wanna Be Your Man” with its louche coolness.

In “Mirror Touch”, Wild Ones have created a distinctive, evocative and invigorating sound but all the more incredible is that this is an album of pure pop singles without an ounce of aural waste and a brain to fuel the engine. A fantastic album.

Wild Ones are vocalist Danielle Sullivan, keyboardist Thomas Himes, drummer Seve Sheldon, guitarist Nick Vicario and bassist Max Stein.

Due out on 6 October 2017, you can pre-order the album here and even more delightfully,a portion of the proceeds from pre-order sales will be divided equally and go directly to The Trevor Project, The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Planned Parenthood.