Album Review: Lydia – Run Wild

Lydia are best-known for their 2008 cult classic Illuminate, an incredible album which weaves pop, emo and ambience to create the perfect winter sound. After an EP, a brief split, and a new record, the band returned with a brand new sound on the vastly underrated Devil [2013].

On Devil, the band moved towards a poppier sound, led by acoustic guitars and subtle melodies. Now, with Run Wild, the band talk of a “darker” release; bringing to mind a cross between Illuminate and Devil.

The record kicks off with the bright and happy “When It Gets Dark Out” and builds on everything they did right on Devil – nice melodies and a memorable, catchy chorus.

Run Wild is at its best, though, when it’s a bit weird. Songs like the second, “Riverman”, which launches into an epic conclusion, or “The Sounds in Your Dream” which uses strange vocal samples behind the chorus, are immediate highlights.

The idea of using two producers is interesting, too, with half of the album being produced by Copeland’s Aaron Marsh, and the other half being Colby Wedgeworth who produced Devil. It’s not entirely clear who produced each song (which is a good thing), but “Past Life”, the lead single, is one of Marsh’s and immediately stands out as one of the darkest and most exciting tracks, as Leighton Antelman’s vocals crash above the instrumentation.

The album ends on “Georgia”, which is by far the highlight. Starting off a bit twinkly, it moves towards a loud, layered chorus, calming down as a sample from a movie [note: I have no idea what the sample is from] and picking up again; it shows Lydia at their best.

Run Wild is an interesting album. It isn’t necessarily darker than Devil, but it is definitely more serious. The best parts of their musicianship are there; some songs are a bit forgettable, while the memorable ones are some of their best.

Stay tuned for an interview with Lydia being published soon!

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Max Qayyum

Max Qayyum

Seeing Your Scene / DIY promoter / Cutting Room / Taco Hell

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