Last year London’s Kid Wave hinted at what they could do with the excellent Gloom EP, now they have returned with debut album Wonderlust, but not just that, they’ve returned with the goods. Wonderlust is an accomplished forty minutes of sumptuous indie pop.
Title track ‘Wonderlust’ kicks the album off in fine style, after a surging intro, the song calms down during the verse until the chorus kicks in when things get a bit heavier. Next up is last year’s sublime single ‘Gloom’, don’t let the title put you off, its anything but gloomy. Opening with an explosion of drums and guitars, it grabs your attention through jangling guitar riffs and haunting vocals. ‘Best Friend’ showcases their skill for writing brilliant melodies, but interspersing them with massive drums, you know to keep us on our toes. But there is a lingering melancholy as the chorus simply says “Do you remember when we were best friends?”
The albums highlight though is ‘Baby Tiger’, Opening with a wall of feedback and droney noise, it suddenly changes and the riff kicks in. This is one of the heaviest tracks on the album, and shows that Kid Wave aren’t just jangle pop merchants, more importantly it’s lots of fun too. ‘I’m Trying to Break Your Heart’ is another stand out moment, woozy guitars intertwine perfectly with understated vocals and huge drums. ‘Dreaming On’ brings the album to a close. As the title hints, there is a lurid dreamlike feel to it. Ethereal vocals romp with a tender acoustic guitar, but instead of all hell breaking loose, Dreaming On slowly lilts to its beautiful outro.
Kid Wave make the kind of music that makes you hanker for lazy summer days, kicking back and enjoying some down time. Having said that, musically they are a mixture of Granddaddy and Lush at their heaviest. However the real star of the album is singer Lea Emmery her vocals really underpin each track with a level of ardent wistful melancholy. Wonderlust proves that Kid Wave are shaping up to be the real deal. While they aren’t the finished article just yet, they are getting pretty close and that’s something to get very excited about!