There’s nothing all that wild about Wild Ones. If you’re looking for truth in advertising, Keep It Safe, the title of the quartet’s debut album, is a better indicator of what to expect from the 3-year-old group’s romantic, richly detailed electro-acoustic pop. This is music born of careful consideration, not freeform abandon. Golden-glow synths flutter with crystalline grace around subtly employed guitars and light dance beats, like Beach House shaken out of its love-buzzed haze. It’s starry-eyed, swollen-hearted and totally controlled.
But keeping it safe
should not be confused with playing it safe, particularly where singer
Danielle Sullivan is concerned. On a record that could’ve gotten by on
harmonies and instrumental warmth alone, Sullivan lays herself bare, and
her voice—equal parts country twang and faux-Irish brogue—makes
earworms like “Golden Twin” and “Curse Over Me” sting with melancholy.
Hers is a wondrous instrument, though not a particularly dynamic one,
and there are moments where the airtight playing nearly suffocates her. Keep It Safe is an emotive, evocative effort, but a band called Wild Ones could probably stand to let loose more often.
SEE IT: Wild Ones play Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with My Body and Genders, on Friday, July 5. 9 pm. $5. 21+.