Wild Pink
A Billion Little Lights


3.5
great

Review

by Sunnyvale CONTRIBUTOR (15 Reviews)
February 22nd, 2021 | 51 replies


Release Date: 02/19/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A billion little lights, one solid follow-up album

After a somewhat mediocre self-titled debut album in 2014, Wild Pink followed up with a massive improvement in their sophomore release, 2018’s Yolk In The Fur. A mellow and meditative collection of indie rock tunes, Yolk In The Fur brought to mind the War on Drugs, although it toned down that band’s rockier and gazier edges into a quiet and peaceful musical venture, tinges of Americana on a placid indie foundation. While Yolk In The Fur had a few weaker tracks and suffered at times from overly repetitive lyrics, it was nonetheless a bit of a revelation for many listeners.

Wild Pink has now followed up their breakout record with a third release, the grandly titled A Billion Little Lights. It becomes rapidly clear the band didn’t want to shake up their formula too drastically. A Billion Little Lights very much begins where Yolk In The Fur left off, with a string of pretty and ambling indie tunes. Opener “The Wind Was Like A Train” aptly starts off quietly with some sparse piano notes, only gaining volume a few seconds later into the album’s runtime, a topical alert that this album won’t be one to blare as loud as possible in your speakers. Second track “Bigger Than Christmas” follows and stands as a clear highlight of the record, very catchy in a subtle manner. Fifth track “Oversharers Anonymous” is perhaps the best song here, and provides a glimpse of a possible future direction for the band, with its swaying alt-country melody. The band has always flirted with Americana, but never has the influence been so clear as here, and the melding of nostalgic twang with soft indie works exquisitely. Thematically, the songs here frequently reference natural scenery and geographic place names, which works well especially in connection with the beautiful album artwork. There’s also an underlying lyrical thread of mortality and death which periodically crops up, and adds a melancholy tone. Taken together, musically and lyrically, the album at its best is able to summon up the bittersweet feeling which older artists like Neil Young and Tom Petty (at his folkier moments) were able to master.

A Billion Little Lights is simply a pleasant listen throughout, and can function well as either background music or as a thorough listen. Anyone who enjoyed Yolk In The Fur will have no reason not to appreciate this one as well. For those who missed that release, any fans of the mellower side of indie rock will probably enjoy this one. That said, there are undoubtedly some critiques which can also be made. For one thing, the release treads a little near Yolk In The Fur’s admittedly successful formula, with relatively little progression. This feeds into the second critique, which is that, much like on Yolk In The Fur, several songs tend to suffer due to lyrics that feature lines repeated over and over. The track “You Can Have It Back” suffers especially egregiously in this regard. This isn’t to say that repeated lines are always a bad thing, but Wild Pink has generally been a sound band lyrically, and they may be better served to add a bit more lyrical variation in those places.

A Billion Little Lights is, taken as a whole, a solid release in its own right which should hopefully keep Wild Pink on indie fans’ radar. While the band has not advanced their sound dramatically since their last album, they have a solid foundation and it will be intriguing to see what musical path they pursue going forward.



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user ratings (29)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2021


2037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This one needed a review, so here we go!

hel9000
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


1102 Comments


Nice write up! I liked Yolk in the Fur quite a bit so I'm excited to check this.

Digging: Arab Strap - As Days Get Dark

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


2037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks @hel9000! I expect you'll like this then!

Scoot
February 23rd 2021


20445 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is pleasant

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 23rd 2021


36816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome that you reviewed this. This isn't as good as Yolk in the Fur but it grew on me after three spins and is almost just as beautiful. The Shining But Tropical is my favorite tune. Good write up as per usual.

Digging: Leon III - Antlers in Velvet

parksungjoon
February 23rd 2021


28226 Comments


one million points of light, one billion dollar vision thing

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


2037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Sowing! Pretty much agree on your assessment, except regarding the favorite song.

notkanyewest
February 23rd 2021


75 Comments


I was thinking about writing this one up, a very well written fair review although I think I like it a bit more then you. "Yolk" is the masterpiece for sure, though

parksungjoon
February 23rd 2021


28226 Comments


pos'd

notkanyewest
February 23rd 2021


75 Comments


The place the War on Drugs comp has to end imo is Ross' lyrics, he writes basically my favorites of any songwriter working right now whereas I don't think I can tell you any given line from any given WoD song (although I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing- just a stylistic difference)

Hopelust
February 23rd 2021


3549 Comments


I am beyond stoked to listen to this. The guy announced it way in advance of its release date. The wait has been less than enjoyable.

notkanyewest
February 23rd 2021


75 Comments


Yeah I feel like his label completely misfired with the rollout. We just signed a great but somewhat underappreciated band, how do we fix that? Build up hype by...slowly rolling out nearly half the album as singles over 5 months?

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


2037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Park and Notkanyewest!



In regards to the War on Drugs comparison, not sure I agree regarding lyrics. Take this with a grain of salt though, I'm a pretty huge War on Drugs fan. While I think Wild Pink's lyrics are strong as well, I can think if more lyrical moments I really love from the War on Drugs.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


13561 Comments


This looks nice on the front page.

Digging: Stargazer (AUS) - Psychic Secretions

BigTuna
February 23rd 2021


5511 Comments


One listen through, and this is lovely.

Digging: Wild Pink - A Billion Little Lights

dmathias52
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


1518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, pos'd!

One thing I noticed is a missing space between period and start of the last sentence in your third paragraph: "tone.Taken together, musically and lyrically, the album at its best is able to summon up the bittersweet feeling which older artists like Neil Young and Tom Petty (at his folkier moments) were able master." I also think you may be missing a "to" between "able" and "master" there.

This is also a pure style thing, but I think it's nice to do something to the album titles to help them stand out. Italicizing them is what I normally go for. Again, not huge, I think it can just help flow of the review.

For the album itself, I actually like it more than Yolk in the Fur. The opening track makes me ridiculously happy

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


2037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks @dmathias52. Appreciate the feedback, I made corrections to the sentence you referenced.

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


2568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lovely review sunny, album is super nice and breezy

Digging: Bathe Alone - Last Looks

Hopelust
February 23rd 2021


3549 Comments


"Yeah I feel like his label completely misfired with the rollout. We just signed a great but somewhat underappreciated band, how do we fix that? Build up hype by...slowly rolling out nearly half the album as singles over 5 months?"

Yea... painstaking! Absolutely painstaking. Nothing drives me nuts more than releasing half the album before the full album. Stop! Just put the whole damn thing out if it's ready.


Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2021


2037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Jesper! Definitely agree, very pleasant and mellow



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