‘Lush’ is the first word that comes to mind when listening to Low Tides, the second album from acoustic darlings This Wild Life. Their debut album Clouded saw the Californian duo use predominantly their voices and acoustic guitars, allowing the songwriting to speak for itself. The result was an album full of incredibly catchy, yet stripped-back indie anthems.
Low Tides on the other hand, features a far broader spectrum of instrumentation which sees the duo expand well beyond their standard guitar and vocals format. For those used to the stripped back nature of Clouded, first track Hit The Reset is a welcome contrast. Strings, subtle electronics and layers of Kevin Jordan‘s vocals wash over, as if to immediately declare that Low Tides is a different beast requiring multiple listens.
In adding more sonic depth to their music, there was always a danger of This Wild Life’s spirit to be drowned out in favour of production values. However, the pair have managed to successfully capture some of the rawness recorded on Clouded and repackage it into the more expansive Low Tides.
The track Let Go, which features guest vocals from Maya Tuttle, stretch This Wild Life even further, with its uplifting chorus and harmonies as some of their best work to date. Tracks like Red Room and Pull Me Out show the duo at their best, featuring harmonies that will make even hardened metalheads melt.
As bands change their sound and mature over time, many fans yearn for what once was. With Low Tides however, it’s hard to argue that This Wild Life’s evolution since their last record hasn’t been worthwhile. None of the tracks are as immediately catchy as those on Clouded, but for listeners willing to stick with This Wild Life version 2.0, the rewards are rich indeed.