Album Review: Wild Ones

Keep It Safe (Party Damage)

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+.