Album Review | The Wild Young Hearts: 'Feel Good'

The Wild Young Hearts bring the Southern California heat and rock & roll beats to their sophomore album ‘Feel Good’. Having cemented their knack for groovy melodies in their debut EP ‘Pretty Girls’ they furthered that progress with their first album ‘California Dreams’, wherein they continued to build a sound that has become indelibly distinguished as theirs.

A year later, TWYH return with ‘Feel Good’, a record filled with the rambunctious lyricism and west coast finesse that continues to define their signature brand of spunky musicality. The themes of love, romantic angst and self-reflection have zoomed into focus with a graduated level of confidence this go around.

Their 10 track follow-up to ‘California Dreams’ offers a myriad of breezy tunes that move with the pulsing rhythm of a spring awakening. Driving their reminiscently throwback sound, they steer clear of the conventional Top 40 incarnations of rock and the ever-evolving and self-confused state of current pop.

There’s a touch of everything under the genre sun in ‘Feel Good’, a record that works to further accentuate the musical workings of the band. The group's vocals trend towards a spoken word approach that adds a spice of conversational personality to the material. 

In the upbeat drive of its opener (“Just Wanna Go Home”) TWYH hone in on a zealous energy that cascades with sonic cohesion and power pop abandon. That vitality similarly extends to “Dr. Sunshine”, “Venice Beach” and “Losing Teeth”. In contrast, the group hits a decidedly tender note with the poignant ballad “Broken”. It’s in the more ballad-y fare that they find a toned sentimentality that sparkles with its measured lyrical proclamations. 

A prime example of the group’s deft ability to render a character to vivid effect is “Josie”, the subject of “Runaway”, who is described in enough detail to draw a mental picture and left to enough imaginative vagueness to endow her with an air of mystery. Likewise, the tragic paramour in “Broken” and the mysteriously bandied about figure in “U R” offer varying degrees of insight, while always including the heartbeat of the discussed lover. 

Usually striking a chord as either abundantly hyper or earnestly mellow; The Wild Young Hearts break form with “Me and the Moon”. It’s a song that manages to marry the two effervescent vibes together and to standout results. The title track “Feel Good” is a send-up to the rocker lifestyle that evokes the overall feel of the album. While closing out the album is "Smile for Me", a quintessential summer-style song worth rolling down the car windows to.

While ‘California Dreams’ was more of an ode to 60s surfer rock, ‘Feel Good’ is heavily reminiscent of the late 90s era of pop rock, a nostalgic leaning that will be undoubtedly welcomed by those who recall the sunny anthems of that time with fond reverie.

Related: The Exclusive Premiere of The Wild Young Hearts' "Me and the Moon" - Get the First Listen