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Lifestyle & Leisure

Wild at heart?

Thursday, 30th November, 2017 10:08am

What do I know about Wild Front? Well, for a start their singer, according to drummer Josh Betteridge, rather likes the outdoors.

“This sounds really cheesy, but Jack (Williams) is quite into nature,” Josh says, partly laughing.

But what does a hipster frontman strumming gently on a guitar in his garden have to do with the Wild Front? The truth is that folk is at the root of the English quartet, who in their current sound now boast ethereal, dreamy pop/rock quirks.

“I think we’ve kind of developed this sound over a number of years,” Josh explains.
“Jack used to do an acoustic folk solo project, and we were his band for maybe three or four years, but it was all his music. He’s always been into that folk, almost nature-inspired sound, and I think we started the band to add a rockier influence to the songs.”

The lead singer’s penchant for Neil Young and Joni Mitchell has, however, kept the band’s music tethered to folk, resulting in an attractive blend of atmospheric dream pop and more up-tempo guitar-led music.

“I think having Jack’s folky influence has sort of kept the songs in that sort of style,” Josh infers. “We’re really happy with the sound we’ve got now. As soon as we put out (hazy single) ‘Rico’ we knew that was the kind of sound we wanted to portray and put out, where we wanted to go with it.”

Despite having only formed a little over two years ago, Wild Front have released an impressive number of singles as well as a debut EP ‘Physics’ earlier this year. A DIY job supreme (their guitarist Joe Connell produces their work in his shed), the nascent four-piece have already evolved from a more rousing rock sound to the current, more serene one they have now.

New single ‘Southside’ arguably epitomises the band’s work thus far, its delicate guitar lines interwoven with delicate breathy vocals and a video which shows clips from the band’s childhoods. The music and video style is a perfect match.

“Jack was born in Croydon in south London, but the rest of us are born and bred in Southampton on the south coast,” Josh explains. “So the song is really about Jack growing up and moving to Southampton, which he did when he was about 15. We just thought it was right to include some footage of us as kids and capture that sort of nostalgic feel. I think the song itself is quite nostalgic in nature, that whole idea of looking back on your childhood, growing up, and learning new things.

“I think we had the idea of putting together a video like that and once we saw it we were really happy with the way it turned out.”

The band appear to be a close knit group of friends; they all met at college, while Josh has known guitarist Joe since the pair were much younger in Southampton.

‘Physics’ was described by NME as “like The 1975 listening to their dad's funk records”, and Josh says the band are looking forward to bringing their music into unknown territory.

“I’ve never been to Ireland, I don’t know if any of us have, so we’re looking forward to coming over and exploring new places, maybe playing to people who haven’t heard us before. We’ve recently just bought a van so we’re gonna drive around Ireland. It’s going to be great!”

Great indeed, if they can pull Jack in from the great Irish outdoors.

Wild Front play Fred Zeppelins on Thursday 30 November. Tickets are free with support from Rowan.

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