REVIEW: Lydia – ‘Run Wild’

run wild

Artist: Lydia
Title: Run Wild
Label: 81twentythree
Genre: Indie-Pop, Rock

Lydia‘s music–from their debut album in 2005 to this year’s Run Wild–defies being put in a box. All five records aren’t given enough justice with an “indie rock” label. Their music is an uncommon art form; one that contours around the unique and easily identifiable vocal timbre of their singer Leighton Antelman and is shaped by the electronic and bluesy rock instrumentals of Matt Keller and Justin Camacho.

Run Wild, the highly-anticipated follow-up to 2013’s Devil, is a stellar record perfect for the Fall. Opener “When It Gets Dark Out” immediately hints at a darker, more refined version of the band’s music, a bit similar to that of Illuminate from 2008. This first track, though, manages to remain upbeat. For lovers of Devil, like myself, “Riverman” becomes an instant favorite. The bouyant “So welcome to your brand new life” chorus easily contrasts its predecessor.

“I don’t want to keep your heartache. I don’t want to feel your ghost. I don’t even know where we’ll go. I’m just trying to make it home.”

A lot of moody, deep-cut lyricism similar to “Late Nights” above is found throughout the record. A lot of introspective and retrospective thinking is reflected in between lines. The same can be said for tracks like “The Sounds In Your Dreams” and “Past Life.”

The music noticeably boasts two distinct dynamics: one more mellow, and another more vibrant. In a recent interview with the band, they mentioned that they worked with two different producers for Run Wild – Colby Wedgeworth (Devil) and Aaron Marsh (Copeland.) “Paint My Mind,” the record’s first single, is a slightly folky take on some sweet, indie-pop tunes.

Most of an artist’s inspiration when writing comes from the things that make them feel awake and well. In the quasi-mellow jam “Paper Love,” they talk about the simple things like good music and walking down familiar streets. “Coffee Drips” and “Watch The Lights” are sappy, ambient tracks that slowly crawl into each other’s melodies despite the difference in pace.

“Follow Me Down” and “Georgia” are two of the record’s most memorable tunes. The former containing the phrase “run wild” and resembling a lot of lyrical sentiment from their records throughout the years; the latter serving as a beautiful closer. “Georgia” perfectly captures the hazy/radiant combo that Lydia are known for. With a chorale-like refrain and a nice little movie excerpt in the middle, Run Wild is closed out with a lot of finesse and eloquence.

Lydia–as a quick recall into their entire catalog would suggest–are seemingly incapable of letting fans down. The continuous growth is undeniable. Run Wild is an embodiment of some of their best yet.

SCORE: 8/10

Dana Reandelar

If not hunched over her desk writing about music, Dana can be found binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls or condensing long rants to 140 characters. She also writes for Idobi Radio, and is an Off The Record podcast contributor.
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