Perfecting Utopia

Slamgrass, Screaming Eagle soul, stuttered rhythms, and sweet pop shock Utopia Fest

Wild Child

Sunday, 8:30pm, Cypress stage

Wild Child's home-recorded 2011 debut, Pillow Talk, plays out a bittersweet intimacy, but 2013's The Runaround, recorded and released by Ben Kweller, polished the band's embracing folk-pop. For their third album, Fools, due next month on Dualtone, the Austin septet absconded to Savannah, Ga., for nearly a month to take over Doll House Studios.

"We liked parts of both of those [previous] methods of recording, so with this one, we wanted to have a studio, but have access to it at any hour to do anything we were feeling," offers Kelsey Wilson.

"We got to stay creative," agrees songwriting counterpart Alexander Beggins. "Just getting into the head space of the record and staying in it the entire time, it was much more of a community vibe."

Fools finds the band evolving into a collaborative and cohesive unit, led by the opening title track that demonstrates the anthemic force of Wild Child's exuberant live show. The new songs aspire to bigger stages while retaining their essential charm and emotional pull.

"Back in the day, our first record was calmer, a lot darker and sweeter, but when we'd play those songs live, there's nothing more difficult than playing a ukulele love song for a drunk, rowdy bar," laughs Wilson. "So when we went to write new songs, we knew we needed horns and a bass player, and to make some noise."

"We're definitely a band that thrives off the crowd, the collective energy back and forth," admits Beggins. "Between soft, beautiful, and sad, we tie all those things together into a roller coaster of a show."

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