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Youth

Wild Cub

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Album Review

The artificial synth-horn tones and repurposed Prince beat that begin "Shapeless," the first song on Nashville-via-Brooklyn band Wild Cub's debut album Youth, would seem to set the tone for an album of updated '80s synth pop viewed through an indie lens. This is at least partially true, as there's an '80s reference point on almost each of this lengthy album's 15 tracks. Principle singer/songwriter Keegan DeWitt's vocals draw on Peter Gabriel, Bowie, and even some Achtung Baby-era Bono-isms on the swimmy downer ballad "Drive." New Order-seeped guitar melodies, John Hughes soundtrack nostalgia, and bouncy retro-electro rhythms also funnel into the heavy '80s influence, but apart from these familiar elements, DeWitt and his multi-instrumentalist partner Jeremy Bullock manage to take each track into unexpected places without losing the overall thread. Individually, every song seems to be exploring a wildly different territory than the others, evidenced in the disparity between the cheesy guitar noodling and Phil Collins reimagining of "Hidden in the Night" and the bounding, feel-good clarity of songs like "Windows," "Wild Light," or the shamelessly romantic and endlessly catchy "Thunder Clap." Similarly "Straight No Turns" is built around a dancy beat so hypnotic it almost becomes a club track on its extended fade-out, but blurs into almost ambient dreaminess a few songs later on the decidedly more organic tune "The Water." While each song seems to be trying on dramatically different ideas and styles, they all gel when taken as a whole. DeWitt's melodies seem to cycle and repeat throughout the album, giving cohesion to the songs as they amble between direct pop hooks and aimless experimenting. Themes of burning, youthful love and its uncontrollable urgency come through louder than any production choice on Youth. Similar to the cloudy nostalgia of M83 or the melodramatic yet heartfelt howling of the Arcade Fire at their most sincere, Wild Cub taps into a specific emotional thread and rides it throughout every single song here. While certain songs definitely stand on their own, the ability to capture a feeling throughout is what makes the album memorable and worthy of repeat listening.

Customer Reviews

Thunder Clatter is just the beginning

Wow! Wild Cub's Thunder Clatter is my song of the year after hearing it on alt nation all fall! The perfect song you fall in love with and never get tired of. So I got the album and there are so many more songs! Colour, Wishing Well, Jonti and Lies are my favorites so far. I'm sure I'll be listening to this album all year.

Love!!!

Saw these guys at SXSW2013 and was impressed. They are great!

I hope Wild Cub becomes more popular

Wild Cub is an amazing band. I saw them this year live opening for Bastille. They seriously have great music and Keegan DeWitt's voice is amazing. I can only see good things happening to them in the future!

Biography

Formed: 2011 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

American indie group Wild Cub came together in early 2012 when songwriter/composer Keegan DeWitt joined forces with multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Bullock and began creating their infectious brand of electro-pop. DeWitt had become disillusioned with life in New York, and after being offered a promotion at his day job, he chose to quit. He moved to Nashville and focused his energy on forming Wild Cub alongside writing film and documentary scores. Once he met Bullock, the wheels were set in motion and...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Wild Cub

Youth, Wild Cub
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries

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