The troubles of standing out from the pack and getting noticed are often the toughest steps for an aspiring act. Long Beach, CA duo This Wild Life–made up of vocalist/guitarist Kevin Jordan and guitarist Anthony Del Grosso–took an unorthodox approach to distinguishing themselves from the pop-punk circus.
They stripped down their sound, going entirely acoustic and taking advantage of Jordan's knack for writing memorable vocal melodies. Their idea worked, gaining the attention of legendary punk label Epitaph Records, and the group's new album, Clouded, will be released on May 27. Fuse has the first listen of the debut LP–stream it below via a video playlist!
Clouded is an exercise in restrained emotion. This Wild Life are experts in crafting lyrics about break-ups and the highs and lows of youth, they're surprisingly adept at doing so without being overbearing. Producer Aaron Marsh, who makes similarly smart emo songs with his band Copeland, may have been a big part of the overarching soothing aesthetic on Clouded.
This Wild Life are at their best when the acoustic guitars and comforting melodies are fleshed out by strings and keys, a dynamic that fortunately shines through quite often. "History," perhaps the catchiest song here, and the electrifying full-band closer "405" are must-listen tracks.
This Wild Life borrow plenty from early-2000s pop-punk–which will please fans of The Early November, The Starting Line and other acts from that era of Drive-Thru Records' heyday–but they do so in a way that appeals to listeners who enjoy Top 40 singer/songwriter material as well. Clouded is relatable enough that you can imagine belting the words at a live show and it's downright pretty enough to serve as the soundtrack to a lazy Sunday morning.