The publicity-narrative for Wild Beasts’ new album has it as some sudden defection from guitars to synths. Yet for disciples of Kendall’s foremost Fauvists, ‘Present Tense’ plays like the next logical step. Steadily, the melodrama that dripped off their 2008 debut, ‘Limbo, Panto’, has ebbed away to reveal pristine, increasingly electronic arrangements. Every time we meet, they become a bit tidier, a bit more civilised.
That said, ‘Present Tense’ has a touch more of their original buoyancy than 2011’s airy ‘Smother’, and at least one perfect pop moment. Hayden Thorpe’s least divisive falsetto and Tom Fleming’s foggy baritone combine blissfully on ‘A Simple, Beautiful Truth’, the first Wild Beasts track that could shuffle on at a house party and not give the host a cold sweat.
At a gig where you might previously have expected to sing, to sway, and to shiver, you can now anticipate dancing, too. Though it’s probably worth a trip to the O2 Academy on 30th March all by itself.
Check out a their live version of ‘A Simple Beautiful Truth’ for KRCW right here: