Wild Child and indie pop’s heyday
Indie pop is in the midst of its heyday. Related groups like Cocoon, the Lumineers and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have elevated a form of music from the main street coffee house to the mainstream common household name. Though Wild Child might be a little late to the game, “The Runaround” displays the duality of innocence mixed with conflict that has propelled those other groups to exalted success.
Album single “Crazy Bird’s” whistled chorus and uptempo beat would imply the honeymoon stage of any romantic encounter. However the lyrics describe something sick and desperate concerning any relationship of command. There is love present, sure, but along with that highest of emotions floods a current of lesser sentiments: jealousy, distrust, obsession and resentment. “Living Tree” follows similar themes.
“The Runaround” isn’t all gloom. Like many fairy tales, the themes explored over its 11 tracks relate grand concepts – love, passion, discovery and connection – while the narrative path encounters more desultory settings. It is pointless to tell a story without telling it well, and the overall production value on the record is superb. Much like the Head and the Heart, Wild Child has transitioned in the space of a single album from rustic, homespun intimacy to opulent, lush orchestration. What separates the two is the means to these ends. Whereas the Head and the Heart were supplied ample resources to create a failed magnum opus, Wild Child crowdsourced the production of “The Runaround” to create a sleeper giant. Raymond E. Lee/PopMatters.com