It’s almost time to fret endlessly about making tonight the most fun night of the year. It’s the New Year people, and while I might not believe in Santa anymore, there’s always the universe to count on. And cheers to you, universe, for delivering some tunes just in time for my it’s-supposed-to-snow-again-morning-after-new-year’s soundtrack. I’m feeling reflective about 2009, and looking forward to changes in 2010. The band Headlights is inspiring me to keep that mood going.
As a band, Headlights is usually everything that good indie pop is made off: cute lyrics, catchy melodies, and solid harmonies. However, this album went a little headier, a little more emotional and a little fuzzier. The album “Wildlife”, released in October, is 42 minutes of wonderbliss. Sure, at times, this album has its sad bastard moments but the quiet hazy moments of wildlife help remind me that there’s still time to pause (love song for buddy) as life gears up, people move on, and we all grow up. There are a few break-through sunshine moments in the likes of secrets and get going, but on the whole this is a gentle sounds, heavy lyrics album.
Will you still be listening to this album a year from now? Maybe not. It depends how much you like albums with quiet female syncronized vocals, a la Au Revoir Simone. That said, is this an album worth considering for your winter shuffle? Most certainly. Enjoy Wildlife as your background music to snowy days spent indoor drinking hot chocolate and baking cookies. At least, that’s what I plan on doing.
And because Wildlife is so different than previous albums, I couldn’t help but include one of their old tracks in this post. If you missed “Cherry Tulips”, be sure to add it to your playlists now.
Indeed, the Illinois quartet’s third album is short on firecracker energy and syrupy hooks. Yet what it lacks in immediacy it more than makes up for with its gorgeous, gauzy layers and wonderful melodies. Cliche as it may sound, Wildlife is an album that reveals the level of maturity Headlights has achieved as a band, showing off the expansion of their creativity while proving that sometimes a sprint isn’t always the best way to reach an end. The soft and dreamy “Telephones” sets the tone for the ten tracks that follow, churning slowly, twinkling, shimmering, with the melancholy chill resonating from each narrator’s difficulties in communication – Treble
Credit Wildlife’s autumnal atmosphere to its unbuffed edges, like the creak of vocalist-keyboardist Erin Fein’s piano bench at the start of “Teenage Wonder” or the audible “three, four” count off in “We’re All Animals.” Despite stripping away some of the sheen of Some Racing, Some Stopping, the band hasn’t sacrificed that record’s pop-classicist streak; Fein sounds like a girl group of one on “You And Eye,” and she and her bandmates build an econo Wall Of Sound behind “Get Going.” An often gorgeous and heartbreaking record, Wildlife is kept out of the canon of great growing-pains albums by some stagnant lyrics—the word “friends” comes up far too much—but it’s a worthy seasonal soundtrack for anyone surrounded by falling leaves and fair-weather, er, chums – A.V. Club