Given the hazardous and tenuous state of the fires in the U.S.’s western coast right now, on top of what was already a difficult situation with the ongoing pandemic, stress and emotional tension coming from anyone currently living around the area is entirely understandable on just about every level. Knowing the multiple challenges facing so many, the emergence of any form of uplifting news or emotional reassurance can bring forth feelings of such relief, even if only for a short while.
As luck would have it, the Los Angeles trio WILD (Lauren Luiz (vocals); Tyler Thompson (producer, guitar); Zach Daegatano (vocals, guitar).) happened to finish work on a new single that’s beautifully fits the bill for bringing a touch of optimism, comfort, and plain old cheerfulness, to an otherwise difficult day-to-day life.
Premiering today with American Songwriter is “Friend Like You,” the newest track from WILD and the release that kicks off the countdown to the band’s debut full length album, Goin’ Back, which is due for release on January 15, 2021 via Nettwerk Music Group.
Though Luiz, Thompson, and Daegatano reside in the sunny city of LA, this tight group of bandmates-turned-great friends doesn’t latch onto the omnipresent trend of surfy pop rock or sonically unorthodox alternative. Self-described LA Folk, WILD aptly pair the straightforward innocence of folk songwriting and harmonization with the sonic power of west coast production and propensity of prioritizing choruses. “Friend Like You” is a strong single outing for both long time listeners and fans, as well as those hearing the group for the first time. A neatly wrapped song just under the three minute mark, “Friend Like You” is about exactly what it describes: Celebrating the people in life who are always there to lend a hand, laugh, make memories, and grow into lifelong friends with over the years. It’s a perfect summation of WILD’s own origins as a band that’s going on five years strong but for the trio, this song is more a salute to everyone else more than themselves.
“There’s a lot of nods to our longest closest friends in here, (‘you got my back since 92,’ ‘ride or die,’ ‘made up our own language,’ etc). Simply, it’s just about friends that you can always count on and will be there for you, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen them last. We need our ride or die crew more than ever!,” WILD says.
The smooth but snappy drum machine beats, the bright and piercing but softly rounded tone on each of the “ooo’s” packed between the song’s titular refrain (“We could all use a friend like you”), are easy-to-spot flashes of that crisp west coast production style, as well as the mild application of reverb that gives the whole song an evenly balanced layer of tonal expanse after every guitar strum, intricately layered group hand clap pattern, or blended group vocal harmony over the verses. While the arrangement is clean and minimal, “Friend Like You” still manages to bring a bit of bold groove into the mix through the clear punctuation of lyrics at the ends of phrases and the somewhat nimble syncopated rhythm that’s applied to the otherwise see-sawing main melody. These aspects propel the song forward with a bit of kinetic force, as opposed to letting it float by in a more fluid fashion, as might be anticipated with folk-minded pop.
Though the three minutes of “Friend Like You” isn’t going to make all the hardships and trying moments go away on its own, WILD’s newest work couldn’t have come around at a better time when all anyone is looking for lately is someone to have their back. From here, it’s just a matter of holding onto good spirits until the rest of the record arrives, which the band can’t wait for either.
“Goin’ Back is something we’ve been working towards for a long time. We’ve always wanted a full-length album but couldn’t find the right time or sequence of songs. We’re so happy to have made this record and can’t wait for you to hear it. We feel it embodies everything we stand for as a band and shows all our growth throughout the years.”