“Silly Alex, don’t think that way.” – (“Alex” / Expectations)
Austin’s family sized folk band, Wild Child, released their newest album, Expectations on February 9, 2018. Those sensible opening words above are appropriately offered up by a child in the opening track, “Alex”. Like the 7-piece band’s latest release, children are free from most limitations and social norms. Wild Child’s Expectations is a refreshing collection of the band’s musical ideas free of any hesitation due to societal norms and regulations as to how a record should be constructed. Expectations takes the various ideas the band wanted to explore and somehow simultaneously encompasses the band’s familiar sound adored by fans for the last seven years.
To accompany their album release, Wild Child set up several album release dates around Texas spanning four consecutive days. Kicking off in Dallas on February 7, 2018 then to Houston, San Antonio, and finishing off in their hometown of Austin on February 10, the band played a mixture of old and new songs while celebrating with their home state.
The Austin Show
It was a bitterly cold night on Red River street in Austin, TX. Hundreds of fans were lined up along Empire Control Room & Garage to try to gain access into the free (with RSVP) album release show. However, the cold did little to scare away fans and the hot chocolate served by members of the band themselves definitely encouraged fans to hold out even longer. At last, doors were opened and sections of fans were let in. Still outside, but on the other side of the venue’s walls offered more to brave the cold for. For one, there was beer. The main attraction, however, was the music.
First to take the stage was the 3-piece rock/pop band known as Robby, who set the perfect upbeat vibe for the night. Next up was the psyche dream rock band, named ever so appropriately Modern Medicine. As more and more fans were shuffling in, the outdoor garage was filling and warming up quickly. Still shivering, but now with beers in hand, the crowd swayed to Modern Medicine’s impressive performance. With recent addition of Rare Magic and former Two Lips’ multi-talented musician Connor Oakley on guitar, Modern Medicine was a solid opener for one of Austin’s most beloved bands.
Next up were the seven ridiculously talented friends themselves, Wild Child. The first time I saw Wild Child was at UTOPiA Fest in the nice fall weather of September. The amount of energy they brought and the love they expressed toward the crowd was like any other. They had the crowd singing along to every single song. I had never heard of the band, but knew that, clearly, I was missing something. Their performance at Empire was no different, except for the fact that I was able to sing along to every song now.
The band opened with “Fools,” the title track from their previous album. It was the perfect song to open on because it’s familiar, catchy, and gets everyone in that feel good mood. I was pretty far back, but Kelsey Wilson’s voice has no distance limitation. Her vocals were as strong as ever. Alexander Beggins’ voice compliments Wilson’s in a way that is so innately pure. It would be going against nature if these two voices weren’t married through the art of music. As the night progressed, every member of the band had their moment to shine. Multi-talented Matt Bradshaw showed his trumpet skills in “Stitches” and “Bullets,” where Wilson echoed the beat, and the two harmonized. Always playing with graceful ease, Sadie Wolfe shined on cello in “Reno.” Cody Ackors rocked the guitar and the trombone while Tyler Osmond killed it on bass. Tom Myers completed the band with his passion-filled drumming.
The band’s performance was reminiscent of the simpler times for the band, but also mixed with fresh stories from the band’s newest album. New songs included, “Alex” “Think it Over” “Expectations” “Sinking Ship” “The One” and “Break You Down.” “Silly Things” “The Escape” and “Someone Else” were among the songs played from the first Wild Child album, Pillow Talk.
Teaming up with greats from all over the world, Wild Child set up to create their most unique, most true album to date.
They recorded in Tromsø, Norway with Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie), Philadelphia in Scott McMicken’s (Dr. Dog) warehouse studio, and in Wimberley, Texas with Matthew Logan Vasquez (Delta Spirit). They received musical help and assistance from other Austin up and comers: Chris Boosahda (Shakey Graves), Max Frost, and Grammy-winning producer Adrian Quesada (Groupo Fantasma, Brown Sabbath, Spanish Gold).
The group’s latest release is a step away from the norm of the music industry. It comes at a time that could not be more appropriate and from a city that can not be more ready to break those norms. At first listen, Expectations seems a bit jumbled and out of order. It starts off with an upbeat song followed by several slow songs, then back up again. That seems to be the pattern of the album. However, isn’t that the pattern of life? There are unexpected ups and downs all throughout our lives. The only hope is that we will have exceptional music around to accompany those ups and downs. Luckily, Wild Child has our backs on that one.
Take a listen to Wild Child’s full album, Expectations, here.
For a full list of the band’s upcoming shows, check out their tour dates.