I vividly remember sitting in my living room in Nashville at age 15, hours into a Spotify exploration, when I came across the song, "Pillow Talk.” The slinky duet was, and still is, incredible to me. The song quickly found its way to my “Most Played” playlist on my iPod (Spotify Premium was a luxury I had yet to discover) and since then, the band behind the song has remained one of my favorites.
Wild Child has come a long way since messing around in a van in 2010. The indie-rock band which consists of Kelsey Wilson, Alexander Beggins, Sadie Wolfe, Matt Bradshaw, and Tom Myers, has quickly become a major player on the music scene with their playful, yet poignant tunes. The Austin natives seem to always be on the road with multiple international tours and gigs at ACL, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza, to name a few. Their sound has a wide range, from intimate, ukulele-backed duets to exhilarating heartbreakers fueled by blarin trumpets.
After listening to their newest album, Expectations, I was able to catch up with lead-man, Alexander, to discuss all things Wild Child.
Anna Kathryn: First and foremost – congratulations on your new album! It’s killer. I know that Fools was a breakup album of sorts – What was the primary inspiration behind Expectations? What was the writing/recording process like for this one? How did it differ from albums in the past?
Alexander: The content for our records is more or less a chronological recount from our journals. We write about what is going on in our personal lives and use the music as a therapeutic release. We took our time with this record as the writing and recording process spanned over two years. We recorded in 5 different studios from Texas to Norway. We also used a lot of live takes that we feel gives this album a different feel from previous endeavors.
Anna Kathryn: Your sound has really evolved since the Pillow Talk days. Can you describe what that evolution has been like?
Alexander: It has been a very natural progression and I think that can mostly be attributed to us growing as musicians. Looking back to Pillow Talk we were such naive babies just learning how to write and record together. After 7 years and a massive list of lineup changes we feel that we have finally found our team. I also feel like we are now more confident in the studio. We have a better idea of how we want something to sound and the vocabulary and wherewithal to communicate with each other and our producer.
Anna Kathryn: Kelsey/Alexander – You two have been a creative pair for a while. How did your partnership begin and what has it been like growing together through the years, both musically and personally?
Alexander: We started out writing music just for fun 7 years ago. We barely knew each other and mostly just did it to pass the time in the van. We have grown so much musically and personally. We and our families are all so interconnected now. It's such a treat to grow up with someone in your 20's. So much happens, so many ups and downs and hookups and heartbreaks.
Anna Kathryn: I’ve seen you on your last two tours and at ACL and you always have seem to have so much fun performing! I know touring can get exhausting – How do you uphold your energy and focus to consistently put on a great show?
Alexander: It is challenging but honestly only before and after the show. No matter what you feel like during the day once you take the stage everything changes. You realize that it's all so worth it, the late nights, the long drives, and all the other bullshit. Once you walk on stage and see everyone in the crowd with giant smiles on their faces, it's really hard not to get lost in the moment. Greatest job on Earth.
Anna Kathryn: You’ve amassed quite a fan base over the past few years. What has it been like dealing with that? Do people recognize you out and about or are you still able to maintain a sense of anonymity like the rest of us?
Alexander: It's easy and if someone does recognize us and wants to take a picture it's flattering. Still always say "this will be worth nothing one day" and mean it, but we really do love all of our fans. Without them, we wouldn't have the pleasure of doing what we love to do day in and day out.
Anna Kathryn: “Victim to Charm” is one of my favorite songs of all time. I have a feeling that “The One” is going to be up there for me as well. What are some of your songs that you cherish the most and why?
Alexander: "My Town" on our new record is a very special song. We were both going through a very difficult period in our lives last winter and I feel that this song captures those feelings so honestly and accurately. It has a feeling to it that takes me back to that time every time I hear it. "Stitches" is always fun to play on tour because it's about that yearning feeling about wanting to come home and after a few months on the road that feeling becomes very real and relatable.
Anna Kathryn: Is there anything you’re especially excited about this new album/tour? Anything specific you want to get out of your new tour that you haven’t experienced before?
Alexander: I think I can speak for everyone in our camp that it feels like it has taken us 7 years to get everything in order. We all get along, we are a tight knit little family who loves spending time together. We have Murph our new merch and TM and Denny our new photographer and the best band we've ever had and we are laughing about 23 hours a day and sleeping the other hour. Just generally excited to play some new rooms and see old friends around the globe and meet some new ones. We're touring with our pals The Wild Reeds are looking forward to some epic hangs and pranks.
Expectations Title Track:
Wild Child hasn't slowed down in 7 years and we expect nothing but the best from them in the coming years!
Expectations is available now on all streaming platforms as well as on CD and vinyl. Check 'em out!
More of AK's favorite WC tunes: