News, Reviews

Wild Pink Share “Pacific City” Ahead Of Album Release This Friday on Royal Mountain Records

February 16, 2021
Mitchell Wojcik

Wild Pink Share “Pacific City

A Billion Little Lights Out This Friday on Royal Mountain Records

Wild Pink’s highly anticipated album A Billion Little Lights, is due out this Friday on Royal Mountain Records. Slated as one of the most anticipated albums of 2021 by outlets like PitchforkStereogumUproxxThe AV Club and New York Magazine, the album has been preceded by singles “TheShining But Tropical,” “You Can Have It Back,” “Oversharers Anonymous” and today the band are sharing a final single from the LP, “Pacific City.”

Wild Pink is a creative genius, blissfully mastering the ability to create new arrangements enriched with emotive affection. Wild Pink can soundtrack any stage of your life, with “Pacific City” you embrace the slower pace and let the big rhythms elevate the exploration. Wild Pink captures such wholesome and honest connections into their vision.

On “Pacific City”, Ross delivers a slice of pitch-perfect, anthemic indie featuring shimmering steel guitar and soaring saxophone. A rumination on self-acceptance and patience, of giving yourself time and space, he explains the meaning behind the track: “Pacific City is named after the city in Oregon and I was watching Heat a lot while writing it. I wanted to write a few songs with a conventional song structure on this album and this was one of them – we spent a lot of time on the drum tones and used a Yamaha RX21 drum machine. The song is about time passing and realizing you’re not the same person you used to be.

On Wild Pink’s third album and first for Royal Mountain Records, A Billion Little Lights, Ross explores the dichotomy of finally achieving emotional security—of accepting the love and peace he deprived himself of in his twenties—while also feeling existentially smaller and more directionless than ever before. The record is a two-pronged triumph: an extraordinary reflection on the human condition presented through the sharpest, grandest, and most captivating songs Wild Pink have ever composed. 

The band, which is rounded out by bassist T.C. Brownell and drummer Dan Keegan, formed in New York City in 2015 and put out a handful of EP’s before releasing their critically acclaimed self-titled debut in 2017. It was a sophisticated showing for a band’s first album, but it was the striking maturation of Yolk In The Fur that established Wild Pink’s unique sound: a glistening variety of pastoral indie-rock akin to The War On Drugs, Death Cab For Cutie, and Kurt Vile, but informed by classic American rock poets like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. The album received glowing praise from Pitchfork (a score of 8.1), BillboardNPRStereogum, and Uproxx, the latter deeming them “one of indie’s best emerging bands.” 

Even though Wild Pink were operating within the relatively modest world of contemporary indie-rock, critics likened them to the types of revered rock auteurs who rack up Grammy nominations. So for A Billion Little Lights, they actually made that leap. The record was produced, mixed, and co-engineered by producer David Greenbaum, who’s worked with the likes of Beck, U2, Cage The Elephant, and Jenny Lewis. Like all Wild Pink records, the songs were entirely written and arranged by Ross, who shaped them into high-quality demos over the course of a year in his new home in New York’s Hudson Valley. But unlike previous Wild Pink albums, Ross enlisted a deep bench of session musicians and friends to perform a litany of additional instruments, finally granting Ross’s musical visions the space and sonic resources they needed to achieve their finest forms. 

The ten songs on A Billion Little Lights are adorned with fiddles, violins, wurlitzers, saxophones, accordions, pedal steel guitars, and a variety of richly textured synths and keyboards. In addition to the instrumentation, Julia Steiner of the Chicago band Ratboys provides beautiful harmonies throughout the record, her soft voice recalling the friendly glow of a porch light when it switches on behind Ross’s dusky coo. On past records, Ross’s breathy delivery rarely raised above a hushed murmur, but here he sings with a melodic confidence that makes songs like “Pacific City”, “Die Outside”, and “The Shining But Tropical” some of the catchiest, most anthemic cuts in the Wild Pink catalog. The band have never sounded dated or nostalgic, but the lingering twinge of Americana in their sound has always given their songs a familiar, classicist resonance.

On A Billion Little Lights, there are little details like speckles of auto-tune, flashing synths, and even trip-hop-esque drum loops that subtly yet effectively rebuff the notion that Wild Pink’s music yearns for a bygone era: the album sounds at once timeless and unmistakably modern. Wild Pink’s music has always rooted around in immortal complexities, but A Billion Little Lights is the first time the surrounding music truly captures those alternatingly micro and macro quandaries. It, too, is something to marvel at. 

Tracklist
1. The Wind Was Like A Train
2. Bigger Than Christmas
3. The Shining But Tropical
4. Amalfi
5. Oversharers Anonymous
6. You Can Have It Back
7. Family Friends
8. Track Mud
9. Pacific City
10. Die Outside

https://www.wildpinkmusic.com/

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