Having their roots in Kendal, Wild Beasts have released their fourth album, Present Tense, on Domino Records. Previous releases, such as their debut Limbo, Panto, and the Mercury Prize-nominated Two Dancers, have placed them in a category of their own. Wild Beasts bring a new level of musical intimacy with the first single from Present Tense, Wanderlust. The most quoted lyric of the entire album is certainly (current and future) “Don’t confuse me for someone who gives a fuck / Funny how that little pound will buy a lot of luck.”
Having now been sat in an indescribable genre of their own, Wild Beasts do more than simply “not disappoint” with this Present Tense. They place themselves, willingly and proudly, in a musical world filled with talent, guitars, dark and brooding keyboards, and profound lyrics that most bands aspire to, but never reach.
On Mecca, one of the most strikingly intelligent songs on the record, tender lyrics reach and grab what feelings you vulnerably have on your sleeve, twisting them with each tone and harmony. “We move in fear, we move in desire / Now I know how you feel… / We’ve a Mecca now, weave a Mecca now, no less / To hold the other end of the thread…. ‘Cause, all we want is to feel that feeling again, / Yeah, all we want is to feel that feeling again.” What you’re left with is a fragile moment alone with yourself, and immense heartache combined with an odd sense of pure music excitement.
The true test of an album, personally, is whether I can start with track one, close my eyes, and wander through and lose myself all the way through the final moments. This record does just that. Present Tense deserves to make it through the next nine months, onto most music fan and sites’ best of list, if not right up there for another Mercury Prize nod.