Since early beginnings on SoundCloud, recent new management, and establishing themselves deep in the style of classic American country and folk-pop, London-based act, The Wandering Hearts, are making waves, and making them quickly. Having recently kicked off their biggest UK tour yet, the group have found themselves stepping into a whole new year on a massive high, currently working their way through sold out venue after sold out venue, and riding the momentum of the release of debut 2018 record, Wild Silence.
Incorporating flavours of Fleetwood Mac, alongside clear influence from the likes of modern folk-rock acts, The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons, Wild Silence’s introductory ‘Rattle’ expresses plenty of the album’s direction in crystal clear succession; with twangy acoustic instrumentation, a chirpy palm-muted lead guitar and taking full advantage of Tara Wilcox and Francesca Whiffin’s shared harmonies, ‘Rattle’ starts Wild Silence off on an immediate high. This is closely followed up by the lively ‘Fire and Water’, a bouncy staccato riff and soaring chorus of “there’s something in the water – starts a fire, feel like I should warn ya – but I never learn”, before the track finally deconstructs into an almost gospel bridge of repeated “oh ooh, that’s what I need (that’s what I need).”
Shifting the album’s pace, ‘Change For The Good’ steers Wild Silence into more Fleetwood Mac, Say You Will territory, noticeably emulating the likes of ‘Illume’, while ‘Biting Through The Wires’ embraces a far more gritty, southern rock-esque acoustic riff, lyrically focusing on desperate triumph through adversity; “biting through the wires, taking all the shocks just to find a spark – find a spark.” The track finds itself contrasted with the previous ‘Devil’, playing into a far more self-sacrificial tone, albeit still maintaining a vibrant, uplifting character to juxtapose its own admittance of “you can call me the devil in disguise, I don’t care – call me anything you like.”
While much of The Wandering Hearts’ style throughout Wild Silence certainly finds itself on a more uplifting level, the album is perhaps at its best when exploring more personal, intimate ideas. Indeed, where the album truly hits the mark is seen through the far more solemn atmosphere of ‘Laid In The Ground’, a haunting reflection on a funeral for both those held closest, or indeed the writer themselves; “there’s a letter in my bedside drawer – waiting there to be found. Though I go with you, I won’t return – when you’ve laid me in the ground.” Alternatively, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ faces the typical wounds and hurt expected from such a title, yet resists falling into something lacking any real substance through a gorgeous vocal performance, while also incorporating a few more conventional pop elements along the way.
Ultimately, considering the record as a whole, The Wandering Hearts have plenty to be proud of on their 2018 debut. With a slight misstep or two along the way, ‘Wish I Could’ and ‘If I Fall’ both being sweet enough, albeit a little lacklustre and causing the album to drag slightly, Wild Silence certainly still offers plenty of an enjoyable experience through some truly fantastic material. The London-based group are confident enough to follow their strengths, and the aforementioned ‘Rattle’ and ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ both stand as testaments to a style done right. If it wasn’t already obvious enough, revisiting ‘Laid In The Ground’ offers plenty evidence to the group’s ability to captivate; beautiful mellow instrumentation alongside crooning vocals and sweet harmonies, the chorus offers a pang of bittersweet determination, through repetitions of “said I wouldn’t leave you alone – and I didn’t. Said I wouldn’t leave you alone – and I didn’t. Said I wouldn’t leave you alone.”