Wild Pink: ILYSM [Album Review]

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Wild Pink
Royal Mountain Records [2022]

I don’t use the word gorgeous very often to describe music as I feel it never really defines the artists I typically have in my ear. That trend stops with ILYSM, the fourth full-length from Wild Pink. The record is carefully constructed and is both confident in its approach but has a fragility to each song that pulls you in closer to each composition. This balance of strength and weakness comes from the cancer diagnosis of lead singer John Ross which drove the writing behind ILYSM and understandably touches on both life and death. The record emotionally dives deep and Wild Pink constructs the perfect song structures to support the heavy lift.

Wild Pink and Ross do not take all the burden on themselves as ILYSM was co-produced by Ross with Justin Pizzoferrato (Pixies, Body/Head, Speedy Ortiz) and Peter Silberman of The Antlers while enlisting some great musicians. Julien Baker is immediately recognizable as she duets on “Hold My Hand,” while J. Mascis’s fiery guitar solo near the end of “See You Better Now” stands out. Ryley Walker joins in on “Simple Glyphs” and then we also hear from Yasmin Williams and Samantha Crain. All of these additions help give ILYSM its bigger overall vibe.

I don’t know if I would say ILYSM is Wild Pink’s best record to date (that still might be 2018’s Yolk In The Fur) but it is a really enjoyable and intense listen. Given the circumstances that circulated around the record’s making, the album can hit much harder when you absorb the lyrics. Ross rises above here as Wild Pink prove once again that they are a top tier indie band that has plenty more of quality music to come!

“Hold My Hand” / “See You Better Now” / “The Grass Widow In The Glass Window”

The War On Drugs / Destroyer / Death Cab For Cutie

Yolk In The Fur (2018)

Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp | Royal Mountain Records

Thomas Wilde

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