In late 2017 Wild beasts (the 4-piece indie band from Kendal) announced that they would sadly be ending their journey after 14 years together, in which time they have released four studio albums. After their first album 2008’s enthusiastic, fresh sounding Limbo, Panto, they seemed to really polish their sound and refine their direction, defining who they were with their Mercury nominated 2010 album Two Dancers. Swiftly followed a year later by Smother, Present Tense (2014) and most recently Boy King (2016). Their distinct, smooth, sensual indie has ensured they have never fallen into the average safe bet indie band hole; bound by the dual vocal dynamics of singers Hayden Thorpe and Ben Little, whose voices show that opposites really do attract.

I’m not quite sure whether there’s intentional irony in the final farewell Last Night My Dreams Came True album title, a record that is officially closing the door on their dreams; or whether it is the more likely fond nod of reflection over the past decade, illuminating that their dreams were achieved. Either way, this ’best of’ album performed live at RAK studios, although providing no new material as such, offers a tasty twist with fresh recordings of some of their most successful songs.

To an untrained or uninitiated listener you’d be forgiven for thinking these were actual album cuts, a testament to a great live act. The record features a strong advocacy to their latest release Boy King, which in my opinion is at a slight detriment to the strength of this greatest hits; truly believing that their best work came from their earlier music. That aside, it features some undeniable gems “This Is Our Lot” with its clashing drums and twisted guitars, mixed with a whirl of ambient synth, through to “All the Kings Men” evidencing their amazing vocal range, entwined with shimmering organ notes and elegant riffs.  The gorgeous “Simple beautiful Truth” remains a standout song, a great unusual twist on a smooth R‘n’B-esque pop song and a little more surprisingly, “Devils Palace”, the re-work of ‘The Devils Crayon’ (Limbo Panto) and ‘Palace’ (Present Tense), is a tingling, building wonder, cut with raw emotion.

As a fan, I remain a little disappointed that my most treasured track, the exquisite ‘Reach a Bit Further‘, from 2011’s Smoother is nowhere to be heard. But, as their last ever release, this album is a lovely way to sum up their time and sound, successfully capturing the essence of what made them special. Well worth a listen, for all admirers, old and new.

Farewell you inventive, quirky, wonders. Off into the wild you go.

Release Date 16th February 2018 (Domino Records)

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Sarah Starkey

I am a Freelance Writer who is a bit music obsessive. Previously written for the likes of Music Vita and Planet Ivy. Life highlights include winning £2.50 on the Euro-millions.