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culture

Sound Advice: …On The Heart by Wildlife

Wildlife returns with a powerful and irresistibly catchy second album.

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The album title for Wildlife‘s sophomore release, …On The Heart, begins with an ellipsis, which is deceptive. There is no pause, nothing hesitant about the record that follows. Coming after an assertive debut—2010′s Strike Hard, Young Diamond—this latest release from the ambitious indie-rock outfit demonstrates a broader vision and more creative confidence.

Three-fifths of the band (Dean Povinsky, Graham Plant, and Dwayne Christie), are originally from Oshawa, but it took Povinsky moving to Glasgow, Scotland in 2005 for Wildlife to begin to take shape. After a time playing overseas with both Scottish and Canadian musicians, Povinsky brought the band to Toronto.

Wildlife’s self-titled EP and debut full-length earned local affection and acclaim, with single “Sea Dreamer” peaking on the CBC Radio 3 Top-30 chart at number four. Wildlife has built a following by playing small venues and staying close to the Toronto scene, but …On The Heart may very well be the record that lifts it to a higher platform and affords it a broader audience.

“Born to Ruin,” …On The Heart‘s big single (which you can listen to by clicking the sample, above), is anthemic and powerful, with a remarkably singable chorus and a stirring rhythm. “Band Dream” and “Bonnie” feature similarly seductive choruses, easy to learn and even easier to listen to—perfect earworm material. All the songs have a powerful, organic pulse, which the band uses to create surprisingly emotive moments. The production is also excellent, no doubt due to the talented hands of Peter Katis (Interpol, The National) and co-producers Gus Van Go and Werner F (The Stills, Hollerado). …On The Heart is exactly the kind of second full-length a band like Wildlife should aspire to release: an evolution, magnifying and bringing into focus all its strengths while reaching for a bolder, fuller sound.

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