ALBUM: No Moon At All
ARTIST: Wildcat! Wildcat!
A diamond in the rough, Wildcat! Wildcat! is being raised from the wilds of indie alternative music by one of the industry’s finest. Their still-tame presence online has grown exponentially since this past March, when the trio began recording their first album. These three LA-raised guys were nowhere to be heard a few years ago. Now, they’re debuting an album that carries singles on the rise, with concert ticket prices following the upswing. Jesse Carmichael, Michael Wilson, and Jesse Taylor are the cats behind the sound of Wildcat! Wildcat!, and while all sharing vocals, Carmichael is on the drums, Wilson on the keyboard, and Taylor on the bass. No Moon At All, their first full album release, has capitalized on the group’s talents and amplified them with the booming bass and dazzling electronically inspired sounds that are so very popular these days.
Their previous releases in 2013, like “Mr. Quiche,” are decently smooth and mellow singles, yet fans admitted favoritism for them due to obscurity and lack of popularity. Fortunately, the group’s new album legitimately proves that Wildcat! Wildcat!’s initial EP left them with room to grow, and now they’ve delivered. Their first self- titled EP released in September of 2013 put them at risk for sounding unrefined, with noticeable lyrical loose ends and ingenuous songwriting. That was before teaming up for production help from Morgan Kibby, a goddess singer songwriter who has worked with talents from M83 to Harry Potter.
Kibby’s contributions to Wildcat! Wildcat! took them to another level entirely. No Moon At All has epic musicality reminiscent of a chilled-out Silversun Pickups, and sounds clearly influenced by M83. No wonder, since Kibby has toured with the French electronic music band for years. Wildcat! Wildcat! has a sound that levels them with current indie innovators like Passion Pit and Alt-J. Their tracks present a possibility for depth both musically and lyrically, but it is not always cleanly executed in tandem throughout the album. For example, “End of the World Every Day”, presents an engaging hook of an introduction in both aspects, but the lack of contextual structure in the second half of the lyrics is distracting. The rhythm and sound are solid throughout, though, rescuing the track from being a dud. The group writes their songs in an attempt to rise from the hedonism polluting the airwaves, but some of the plot lines they lay out in their songwriting seem to complicate their delivery.
As seen in many budding alternative songs, the band presents over and over in their lyrics the album as a means for escape. The escape is portrayed as comforting and kind, where everyone is called a child and everything will be ok, as laid out in track one, “TOWER/ W.O.H.L”. It seems the punk-rock outcries of honesty from Nirvana (“Load up on guns, bring your friends”) in the 90’s have scared the counter-culture youths of today. Or is there another reason these themes are becoming so prevalent in indie alternative music? To speculate, maybe Miley Cyrus’s over-sexualization of the body, and excessive encouragement to not “stop” has become too much. It has pushed the opposing side of music into over compensating for too much “turning up”.
Whatever the reason, Wildcat! Wildcat! harnesses this trend with an originality of their own, adding personal anecdote and signature repetition to weave through the album. Though relatively new, the group has made crucial connections and landed invaluable gigs opening for Portugal. The. Man. and at playing at SXSW. They’ve got their foot in the door, now you just have to give them a listen.
“I found you sitting with a detonator. I found you. I found you. I found you. I lost you. I lost you among a world of haters.”