Wildhart‘s debut EP, EP1, commences with a countdown of a space shuttle launch, and it is quickly followed by harrowing vocals supported and a delicate instrumental track. These types of openers are rarely ever memorable and often are forgettable, as they can serve very little purpose and feel like a waste of time and space. But “Intro” isn’t that at all. It’s the prelude to something that could be either cataclysmic or spectacular or maybe even both, and it’s a great introduction to Wildhart’s spatial and dreamy soundscapes.
While there are many bands creating lavish and ethereal music, few are able to do it in a way that relies of subtlety, tempo, and pace to create these moments of euphoria. Wildhart, though, have perfected these skills. Never do any of their debut album’s songs feel heavy, overproduced, or oversaturated with unnecessary beats and rhythms. Instead, they have created an album that is completely immersive, where the listener feels like she is part of the entire process, that he is the one at the center of the song. These are skills even the most seasoned musician fails to master.
While “Intro” sets the tone, “Stuck In A Second” seduces us with its shimmering synth-pop overtones that is reminiscent of HÆLOS. “Fantasy” follows and it’s one of those rare tracks where its title matches the vibe. The song is delicate but stunning, filled with a rich array of textures and layers, particularly the soulful piano number and frontwoman Ylva Holmdahl’s angelic voice. All you want to do is close your eyes and get lost in this imaginary world that Wildhart has created.
“Lost” continues where “Fantasy” left off – well, the beginning does anyway. The song is intimate for nearly the first two minutes, as Holmdahl whispers her most guarded thoughts into our ears. The song then swells into a percussion-driven, tribal-like number that echoes of Grimes. One does get “Lost” in the collision of sound and the stunning melodies and harmonies that transpire during the song’s cataclysmic finish.
The finale, “We Made Up A Dream”, is breathtaking. It is not only a delicate song, but it’s fragile and feels vulnerable. It is a song for any relationship, where one realizes that any love affair can be broken at any time and for any reason. The tingling of the electronic beats could our hearts racing during these moments but also reflecting the heartbreak when we become separated from our loved ones.
By the time “We Made Up A Dream” is over, a realization that the journey is over begins to set it. While EP1 is an extremely delicate album, it is also immensely intense in the feelings that are evoked throughout the album. You feel like you have actually lived through each and every second of the five songs. For any band, it’s a rare gift to be able to create music so immersive that it leaves the listener with the sense of longing and wanting for more. Yet for this young trio out of Gotherburg, Sweden, they have done just that and more.
Wildhart are Ylva Holmdahl (vocals), Kiwi Berg (synthesizers), and Josefin Runsteen (drums). EPI is out now via Gaphals.
Featured photo by Matilda Söderberg.