By Ashika Sethi
It may seem trying for artists to take on a topic so overdone and cliché as a breakup, but Wild Child readily accepts the challenge and succeeds with aplomb on their new album, Fools. They owe this success to their sincere, accessible lyrics that position these breakups as stages in life, rather than the end of life itself. Band members Kelsey Wilson (vocals and violin) and Alexander Beggins (vocals and ukulele) started their musical relationship while accompanying another band on tour. They began writing songs together, and found their sounds meshed seamlessly. Broken relationships often bring two people closer, and Wilson and Beggins found solace in one another, after both enduring recent heartbreak.
This influence is front and center on Fools, an album about heartbreak and all its stages. Lyrically, the subject matter is heavy, but it’s set to a light-hearted musical backdrop that gives the album a more positive vibe overall. Wilson’s voice twirls and skips through choruses, as Beggins remains steady and grounded, creating the perfect contrast. The carefree sound of their vocals and instrumentals juxtaposes so well with their heart-wrenching lyrics that listeners will probably find themselves questioning how to feel by the end of the album. It’s an accurate representation of a real breakup, which normally leaves people with several conflicting emotions to process. But thanks to Wild Child’s blend of cutting lyricism and gentle musicality, Fools is ultimately an uplifting record.
Some highlights of the album are “Fools” and “Bullets,” two tracks that are trademarks of Wild Child’s sound: dance-y beats and catchy choruses. “Fools” opens with momentous violins, cascading into drums and piano then eventually into Wilson’s uplifting vocals, blending with Beggins’ as they sing: If you have to go, I’ll play the fool.
“Bullets” is an instant classic for its extremely melodious chorus, with Wilson and Beggins “ba ba badada”-ing in what may be the most folk-pop song on the album. Other standouts include “Stones” and “Meadows,” featuring Beggins’ ukulele skills and Wilson’s whispery vocals, making the album an easy listen.
Fools is an album that fits several occasions. If you’re in the mood to dance, turn it on while dining with friends. If you need to purge your turbulent emotions, play it late at night when you have the world to yourself. Wilson and Beggins’ honesty will bring fans together, providing comfort to those who have experienced recent loss. With this album, Wild Child successfully wins over the broken hearts of listeners everywhere.
Purchase Fools here.