Wild Palms – Until Spring (One Little Indian)
When I was asked to write this review I must admit I thought ‘here’s another band with a non-descript name and nothing much in the way of originality’. To be fair though, I hadn’t listened to the music at that point.
Until Spring is the debut album from Wild Palms and it is urgent whilst epic, spacious yet claustrophobic, angry yet serene. It’s a contradiction of an album but then that’s how first albums ought to be – the first collection of songs from a group on their way up regardless of any over-riding image or style. There are elements of Bloc Party, Delphic, Roxy Music and the Cooper Temple Clause but Wild Palms definitely have an identity of their own.
Each song has its own little vibe and story. ‘To The Lighthouse’ has an expansive, soaring feel with a sinister underbelly, ‘CareTaker’ sounds like a robot with a vicious hangover and ‘Swirling Shards’ starts off sounding like the Devil’s ice-cream van before morphing in to an Editors-esque anthem. The album closes with the brilliant ‘Not Wing Clippers’ before being finished with a hidden track – not a concept that works so well in the digital age as the track times give it away like putting up a road sign to a Top Secret Bunker.
There’s a school of thought that says music, like food, can be enhanced by the surroundings in which you consume it and I think Until Spring could be enjoyed equally in a misty wilderness or in a city centre landscape. This is definitely a night time album though so make sure you wait until the moon is high before breaking this one out. It’s not a perfect album but then very few debuts are.
Let’s go for 4 mushrooms out of 5 and leave these guys some room for improvement – it can only be good for everyone!