Indie pop collective the wldlfe burst onto the Indiana scene just under a year ago, with their debut EP New, which soon after its March release found itself on NoiseTrade’s “New and Notable” list. Since then, the Indy-based quartet has released a standalone single that was among my favorites from last year and now a second EP. The latter, titled ILY, was recorded in a relatively short period. I feel like many times, when there’s such a quick turnaround between releases like this, the quality of the music is sacrificed. Not so with the wldlfe though. Their latest 7-song effort makes great strides across the board.
ILY opens with an ethereal pairing of keys and vocal effects on “I Lost You,” which feels minimalistic at first but constantly builds up to the ending riff, fading away into an echo and flowing seamlessly into “Oversentimental.” The EP’s single feels minimalistic but actually has quite a bit going on, from the subtle bass groove to the roaring saxophone line. “LOL” goes heavier on the keys, and features a vibe akin to last year’s “Waterfall,” though this one’s a bit more upbeat due to the driving guitars. The minimalistic interlude “44” is the perfect segue into “All I Ever Do,” which showcases a bouncy bassline throughout along with awesome vocal effects in the chorus, even briefly interpolating “Waterfall.”
The drum and bass groove together on live favorite “Scratch,” which almost feels stripped-down due to the slower pace. Don’t be fooled though: there’s still quite a bit going on here musically. The highlight of ILY, however, is its closer, “I’ll Find It.” The wub’s and wah’s give the song’s verses a steady pulsing feel before a colorful explosion of sound takes place on the chorus. It honestly doesn’t feel like things will get any better on “I’ll Find It,” and yet somehow, they do just that during the song’s last minute and a half or so. Here, the gospel sound is front and center with a backing choir led by local worship leader Eric Billin. The stunning soundscape may not last for long, but it certainly solidifies “I’ll Find It” as the pinnacle of the EP.
There are a few things worth noting about the latest effort from the wldlfe. The prominence of keys adds something special to every single track on the EP, ranging everywhere from the brief interlude “44” to the powerful closer. Not only that, but many of the tunes from ILY take on a half-time feel in the bridge, adding another dimension to already-great cuts, and many of them are a tip of the hat to New in some way, shape or form. It’s evident that the group’s songwriting has improved, and so while it may only be 7 songs spanning less than half an hour, ILY will almost certainly put the indie pop quartet on the map. Don’t be surprised if these gentlemen blow up sometime in the not-so-distant future.