Acclaimed Austin-based ensemble Wild Child announced their new album End of the World, out March 31 via Reba’s Ranch Records, their new self-run label exclusively distributed by Secretly Distribution. Accompanying the news is a brand new single, the LP’s title track, “End of the World,” a barn-burning ode to contemporary dangers and the ways in which these major fears color the little things in our lives. The track’s origins come from the catharsis at the tail end of the deadly Texas ice storm in 2021. “Amidst the chaos, ‘End Of The World’ was conceived as a reflection or means of trying to make sense of all of the unsettling events unfolding in front of us in real time and around the world,” says one half of the band’s core songwriting duo, Alexander Beggins. “After the ice began to melt and we were able to drive to the studio in Denton, TX, ‘Lean On Me’ came on the radio and added a top-notch layer of levity to the surreal moment. We recorded ‘End of the World’ right when we got to the studio, infused with all of the cabin fever and frantic energy of the previous week.”
To support the new record, the band have also announced an extensive US tour this spring. This will mark the group’s first post-Covid tour featuring the full band, including its newest member, John Calvin Abney, who joined Beggins and co-founding member Kelsey Wilson on a string of stripped-down acoustic shows late last year. Abney joins Wild Child as the first songwriter to collaborate with the duo on an album. Pre-orders will begin on Thursday, February 2 here.
End of the World, the band’s fifth full length album, and their first since 2018’s Expectations, finds the band delving deeper into the contemplative edge which has long colored their songs. Earlier singles “Wearing Blue” and “Photographs” see the band expanding intimate, folky songs into lush, full band arrangements. The record finds the band – known for their explorations of love and intimacy – at an impasse; how can we continue to love and thrive in the post-pandemic era?
The album was born out of a distance between the band’s core songwriters as they headed in different sonic directions. Wilson joined the singer-songwriter super group, Glorietta, and debuted her genre-bending, Motown/Neo-Soul-influenced solo project, Sir Woman, while Beggins unveiled his musical alter-ego, Coco Zani. By then, the two didn’t know if they would ever make another Wild Child record. However, once pandemic lockdowns closed stages and drained bank accounts, the two knew they had to act. Lockdown brought about virtual shows and songwriting sessions while adding new vitality to the group.
“It felt like our very first record, when the two of us wrote a bunch of songs while on tour for someone else. There wasn’t any aim to do anything with those songs at the beginning. For the first time since then, that’s how we started writing these songs. We didn’t know if we would make another record. It just came together,” Beggins says. Sometimes, the “End of the World” is only the beginning.
Photo Courtesy: Megan Buse