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Album Review // THIS WILD LIFE ‘Petaluma’

The two piece acoustic band will charm you with their latest offering Petaluma, featuring some of their most honest and explorative songwriting to date.

The upcoming studio album from acoustic duo This Wild Life will offer listeners a much-needed escape from the often constraining reality of daily life. The acoustic instrumentation will soothe your soul, whilst the honest lyricism will chime and resonate deep within you.

Figure It Out is like the sunlight streaming through your windows on a Sunday morning. It’s a lyrical opening to the whole album, as the opening guitar melody creates a fluttering breeze around you. The chorus is sure to resonate with many listeners, with lyrics such as “I thought I’d figure it out by now // But I’m still winging it, don’t know how”, and as the vocal backing chimes in with soothing ‘oohs’, you’ll feel a wave of bliss wash over you.

Following with Headfirst, it’s a pounding sing along track. Sounds of mandolins are incorporated into the instrumental backing, and the high tinkering strings surround the track in a magical aura. The intricate layers blend together seamlessly to create a rousing soundscape, and it seems like there’s a new instrumental line to be picked out every time we listen to it. Cymbal rolls add to the drama of the track, as the delicate vocal harmonies pierce through impassioned guitar strumming.

Quirky ukulele laden love song Catie Rae will delight you with its confessional lyrics, and you’ll be tempted to bop your head along as Kevin sings the bittersweet lyrics: “Well hey hey Catie Rae // We’ve lost some friends along the way”. An emotional bridge is created by the legato orchestral strings, which float over a bed of acoustic guitars, shakers and pop tambourine. You won’t be able to stop a smile from spreading across your face as we finish the song with Kevin singing “But I still love you anyway” over ukulele chords.

Positively Negative has a much more upbeat tempo, and a charismatic bass line melody will hook you in. Massively catchy, you won’t be able to stop yourself from singing along to the memorable chorus. Impressive ghost notes on the drum are featured in the bridge, and a cymbal roll guides the listener to the climax of the chorus.

Poignant Westside will break your heart with its emotionally-laden lyrics. Written about a loved one being sexually abused, you’ll struggle to keep the tears at bay when you listen to this song. Hold You First is a fingerpicking ballad that will touch you with its beautiful string arrangements. The airy high vocals in the chorus bring a lightness of the track that will calm you and help you forget about the strains of daily life.

Speaking about the album, Kevin said:

Early on in the writing process we made a mutual decision to make a record that felt brighter, more uptempo, and something we’d personally want to listen to every single damn day. I hate it when bands tell you their new record is their “best shit yet” or “more mature”. That’s not for them to decide, it’s for the listener. And so I leave you with our new record ‘Petaluma’. These songs are yours as much as they are ours. Listen to it loud with the windows down, on Sunday mornings when you’re cleaning up around the apartment, or throw on some headphones and find some comfort in its escape.

It’s our best shit yet.

And we couldn’t agree further. From Figure It Out to No Need For Novocaine, this is an album that will make you want to dance, cry, and do everything in between. This Wild Life have created their most diverse record yet, so put on some earphones, and escape from reality for a while with Petaluma.