O V E R V I E W
While we as people have a desire to quantify things, giving them depth to be able to grasp it in a manner that we can wrap our thoughts around it, that’s not always the case. Instead, each of us uses different ways to not just express ourselves, but understand things that may not be easily relatable. One such way of understanding things that seem to fall outside the realm of basic understanding is through artistic endeavors. Musicians use them all the time to tell stories of both fact and fiction, all while incorporating their real thought processes into the very soul of what they created. This Wild Life are one of many who do this, but they do it in a more subtle way, letting their words spread the message versus the instrumentation and with their latest outing, Petaluma, the bands vision has never been clearer.
F L O W / L O N G E V I T Y / O R I G I N A L I T Y
Striking a chord in the alternative scene is no easy task, and yet This Wild Life have seemingly made it so easy with their past few releases and once again with their newest release. Petaluma is easily one of the most diverse albums they’ve ever released. It provides a flow that inherently gives a level of joy and fun, while at the same time offering very somber moments that truly make you think about some dark aspects of the reality of life. This feeling of offering highs and lows typically hurts albums, but in this case, the more simplistic, stripped back nature of what This Wild Life create really benefits it, giving a flow and lasting longevity that many musicians strive and ache for. On top of that, the duo delve into some more experimental aspects that really accentuate their already iconic acoustic sound.
V O C A L S / I N S T R U M E N T A T I O N
Vocally, This Wild Life have always been incredibly strong. Obviously this is more of the case with the acoustic nature of the band, but the range and different approaches that both guys bring forth really help the accentuate the true meaning of their songs. On the instrumentation side, they bring forth some more outside aspects to their acoustic nature, from the more whimsical nature of the horns and whistling at the beginning of “Come Back Down” and “Never Believe” to the top-tapping upbeat stylings of “No Need For Novocaine”. These extra elements really help Petalumas’ songs pop, giving a new feeling to what This Wild Life is capable of while also reminding us that their simplistic approach has already given us so much to love for so long.
C O M P O S I T I O N / P R O D U C T I O N
Leading into the album’s release the band released several singles from the album. Many of these songs talk about severely different topics such as sexual assault (“Westside”) to the other side of the spectrum with a love song based around Kevin Jordans current relationship. The album holds strong front to back with no cliches and in a not so shocking surprise, comes off extremely genuine. It sounds very different than any of their past work as Clouded was extremely acoustic focused and Low Tides was more focused on the pure mellow and somber side of things. The end result is that Petaluma comes over like a breath of fresh air, incorporating everything that This Wild Life have put into their prior albums.
F I N A L T H O U G H T S
It’s been eight years since acoustic rock duo This Wild Life made their way onto the scene and in those eight, quickly passing years, they’ve managed to make their way into the hearts of thousands upon thousands of people, creating songs that swoon and sway while tugging at the very core of our own humanity. When you think about it, it really is a mesmerizing feat that they’ve managed to accomplish so much and bring so much depth and vividity to their music with a more simplistic approach. This is simply proof that music really does serve as an outlet for musicians and fans alike; it’s not just all about the complex, rhythmic nature that lies within the sounds that grace our ears but more about the inherent, raw nature that it contains within and Petaluma gives us that and so much more.