The Wldlfe – New

What started out as a solo outlet for singer-songwriter Jansen Hogan soon evolved into a full-time band, featuring lead guitarist Jason Boucouras and drummer Geoff Jones. Now, the Indianapolis-based trio is known simply as The Wldlfe, and while they are still working to get their name out, New feels like just the catalyst they need to get the ball rolling.

Hogan and company get things started with the fun opener “Waterfalls.” The riffs and keys make for a happy musical soundscape with an island vibe, a fine contrast to the more-somber lyrical tone. Together it’s an intriguing combination that normally wouldn’t make sense, but the trio somehow seamlessly blends these elements, resulting in a fascinating tune overall. On “Momma Told Me,” the band turns things up a few notches musically, with haunting keys and a trance-inducing drum groove. There’s a bit of side-riffing going on in the chorus as well, but that is clearly only icing on the cake. “Raincoat” slows things down significantly, and musically feels calmer and more introspective, even if the lyrics are more of a request than anything else.

The fun picks back up again, however, on the EP’s lead single, “Somebody’s Gonna Love You,” an upbeat head-bobbing tune with an infectious bassline. While the keys are holistically an important facet of the song, the coolest part of “Somebody’s Gonna Love You” is the brief bridge where they get to go wild for a few quick bars. Needless to say, this carefree pop tune is the perfect soundtrack for springtime. The EP closes with “New,” a stripped-down tune reflecting on Hogan’s past and showcasing nothing but his voice and keys. Much of the beauty of the title track lies in its simplicity, which helps wrap things up rather nicely.

The young pop rockers from central Indiana impress with their debut release, and while it’s certainly not perfect, the EP is a fantastic place for the band to start, even if Hogan’s vocals can sound a bit whiny at times. With New, The Wldlfe makes a statement that I believe will propel them from local favorite to regional contender.

Score: 4/5

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