Released Jan 21, 2022
What a delight to have The Soundcarriers back in my life. There have been quite a few bands mining the same vein of nostalgic psych-pop in the seven years since the band’s last release, but very few have pulled it off with quite the same flair. Their sound has never been about faithful recreation of an era, though; it’s an imaginative mish-mash of scenes that existed separately at the time, stitched together from the most appealing elements of Nuggets-era psychedelia, krautrock grooves, Free Design whimsy, and breezy tropicalia.
For this reunion, prompted in part by AMC’s short-lived series Lodge 49, the band picks up right where it left off, their chemistry not at all diluted by the extended hiatus. If anything, those years have only concentrated The Soundcarriers’ sound. The songs on Wilds are concise and focused (no 12-minute jams here), built around Paul Isherwood’s forceful bass and drummer Adam Cann’s relentless drive. The commitment to melody is still there, Leonore Wheatley and Dorian Conway’s vocals blending as sweetly as ever, but the songs feel a little more urgent, more anchored.
Album closer “Happens Too Soon” is about as gentle as the album gets, but even that one ends with a build-up of head-held-high defiance. It’s a fitting end to a release that feels assured from start to finish, a confident reclaiming of The Soundcarriers’ space in the psych-pop pantheon.