WITH only days to go before the release of her new album, Monthly Friend, and her also venturing out on the road for a socially distanced series of dates across the UK, purveyor of intelligent and politically couched dream pop Wyldest has shared one final single, the sweet and chiming “Heal”, the video for which we’ve got for you below.
As with most of Wyldest’s songs, the sonic beauty – here carrying a little reverb-wrapped country slide to garland the open and bright guitar chime, hosting also a stop-start vocal melody that’s really hooky – couches a lyrical steel, here concerning gender belittling.
Zoe Mead, the artist known as Wyldest, explains further: “All people, and in particular females, are subject to emotional abuse and lack of confidence inflicted by societal norms.
“We grow up hearing phrases like, ‘You must be dying to get married’ and ‘You’re a good drummer/computer scientist/plumber for a girl’; that just becomes the norm, and when we reach adulthood, those notions are imprinted into our very being.
“’Heal’ is about how much these notions can affect us into making poor decisions and allowing others to keep us within a toxic environment.”
The song is one beautifully judged piece of the ten that go to make up Monthly Friend; elsewhere, you’ll find songs such as “Hollow”, Zoe’s self-defined ‘empowerment song’, which she details further: “Society and corrupt governments are helpless to the strength of what we collectively will become,” and the gliding nocturne of “Beggar”, concerning the theory of the prisoner’s dilemma – how we ‘game’ relationships for genetic survival.
Musically and thematically, Monthly Friend develops from 2019’s Dream Chaos with shimmer and lyrical articulacy. She’s not afraid to shine a light on any number of themes, from the anthropological to the small- and big-P political, all couched in acute melodicism.
It’s an album about womanhood, the physicality of the gender; the ideas and concepts of it; its limitations and its advantages.
“Throughout the album, I visit these feelings through metaphors, largely related to nature,” Zoe says.
“I always found it really ironic that women commonly get compared to fruit. Peaches, for example, get over-ripe and people throw them away, discard them, when in fact they are probably at their most delicious and nutritious.
“A lot of the time, women are unfortunately subject to a similar fate. When they are young, they are sexualised and therefore their actual intellectual and creative worth can be overlooked.
“As they age, they get disregarded almost completely, and for what? Because they aren’t as useful to men anymore? Perhaps. But why does our ability to reproduce have to dictate our worth? It doesn’t and it shouldn’t.”
Following the release of the album, Wyldest will head out on an eight-date socially-distanced headline tour later this month – see here for dates and tickets – before heading out again once more in support of Bella Union’s luscious Lanterns On The Lake in October.
Wyldest’s Monthly Friend will be released by Hand in Hive on May 28th digitally and on vinyl – you can order yours from the label’s Bandcamp page, here; it’s also available to pre-order on limited edition recycled vinyl along with a signed print via Record Store.