Wild Child

Fools (Dualtone)

Texas Platters

Wild Child epitomizes bittersweet, upbeat, and inviting string-swelled pop that belies the often intimate angst and poignancy between co-songwriters and vocalists Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins. The Austin sextet finds its most compelling balance yet on third album Fools, with Wilson's recent relationship breakup possibly propelling fodder for new lyrical depth and emotion. The band's cohesion also tightens the overall sound into pop nuggets. The opening title track pulses anthemic, festival-ready, and anchored by low-end rumble, while Wilson's vocal range impresses on the hesitant tremble of "The Cracks," understated control of "Meadows," and lower draw of "Take It." Sadie Wolfe's cello shades a Beatles-esque pop punch on "Bullets" and "Stones," and the heavy piano chords and percussive skitter of "Break Bones" allow Wilson's most powerful vocal turn. "Bad Girl" pumps a playful horn burst before the parting resignation of "Trillo Talk." Wild Child matures with a brutal and beautiful honesty.

***.5

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