“Wearing all your best clothes
Up until the sun rose
Laying in the backyard
Just picking up the dead stars
Go ahead and tell them all the world
Never change this
You’re the living proof, yeah, it’s dangerous
Snow covered streets
So, where you really wanna be
Come on, follow me down
Yeah, while you move your mouth around
Follow me down
You said, ‘be the one they talk about.’
Staring at a crack in the window by your bed,
Stumble over your words in bed
Tell me where we’re going, where the bad win
So I follow her down.”
~Follow Me Down
Lydia, Run Wild
When I first decided to listen to the new Lydia record Saturday morning, I had no idea I would end up playing it all weekend long. This is a fun one. Easy breezy beats and dead-on satisfying guitar parts made the new Lydia record my go-to listening this week – I even bought it on iTunes so I could headphones-it. I think what I like the most about it is how surprisingly good it is.
This is one of those bands that sort of passed me by back when they had their heyday – the release of “Illuminate” didn’t catch me immediately, though I’ve come to appreciate its beauty years later. I didn’t make much of the band after singer/keys player Mindy White left to start States, and it wasn’t until after hearing Capital Cities that I checked out the musicians’ earlier work. I’ve come to find it really beautiful and emotive and full – but as beautiful as an album as it is, it never reached any sort of regular rotation for me. “Run Wild,” though, is as addictive as its lusty, glittering hooks aim to be.
At first listen, it sounds more like the electro pop of Capital Cities than the full band sound of Lydia. But I like the lightness, I like the effervescence, and I like the space. The production of Aaron Marsh is an obvious benefit, and I hear a lot of his styling here: the way the backing strings build and the verses slow a bit before a deep and sentimental chorus. The riffs themselves. And I love Leighton’s voice, a raspy, tired sound that feels fresh and modern and floats over drum beats and handclaps and synthy strings; it sounds like mainstream pop filtered through a graceful indie gauze. And there we have the golden thread of past Lydia releases, a sound that has shifted with trends without sacrificing the lust-fueled, wide-eyed orientation.
There’s a few really great moments on this record, like the cinemtatic chorus of “Late Nights” like the 80s warm pop glow of “Paper Love” and its Coldplay-esque guitar lines. I like how this record always seems to be catching its breath, with melodic little riffs and floating harmonies and interesting rhythms in interesting places. I can’t get enough of it. Might have to check out their past catalog a litlte more than the occasional thumbs-up on Pandora. A sound like this – something modern and peppy but oh so familiar – surrenders to the present, without erasing the past.
“I watched the trains on the coast, they’re moving me
I washed your hands like the wind blowing the breeze
I saw the sky open up your blue and grey
I saw that, I saw that night life running through your veins.”
Lydia, Run Wild