“Present Tense” by Wild Beasts
Kendal, England’s Wild Beasts never ceases to amaze. They’ve already established a sound that’s uniquely distinct, yet on their fourth album, Present Tense, they manage once more to find a way to continue to evolve, experiment, refine, redefine, and impress…over and over again.
Each song is layered intricately and meticulously, but not weaved together too tightly. The percussion beats steadily pulsates as to not constrict the free-flowing synths or overshadow the occasional guitars that glisten. The distinct vocals of Hayden Thorpe (“Wanderlust,” “Pregnant Pause”) and Tom Fleming (“Nature Boy,” “Daughters”) each take flight and float gracefully and endlessly. But when appearing at the same time, it’s ridiculously eerie how perfectly they complement each other on “Sweet Spot” and “A Simple Beautiful Truth.”
Lyrically, it’s less erotic and promiscuous and more mature and amorous. Whether it’s the desire for intimacy (“Mecca”), the preservation of a relationship (“Past Perfect”), or a declaration of love (“Palace”), the raw, genuine, and unaffecting themes are presented in a dynamically unpretentious, vivid, and theatrical manner that only Wild Beasts know how to do.
Simply put, Present Tense is beautiful. In order to absorb it holistically, it requires (and deserves) patience. Listen to it…over and over again.