Video Premiere: Wild Front – ‘Make You Feel’

Wild Front return with their latest sun-dappled single ‘Make You Feel’ after a victorious festival season steeped in success, performing at Reading and Leeds, Isle of Wight and headlining British […]

Wild Front return with their latest sun-dappled single ‘Make You Feel’ after a victorious festival season steeped in success, performing at Reading and Leeds, Isle of Wight and headlining British Summer Time. Co-written with Alfie Jackson from The Holloways, frontman Jack said the single is far more “driven” than any of its predecessors: a precursor for their album on the horizons next year.

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The single, the band say, is from a place of guilt and insecurity: “Lyrically, ‘Make You Feel’ deals with the issues faced in relationships in times where you unintentionally shut people off because of your own personal issues. Sometimes you have a lot to work on in your own life, and it can be so easy to neglect the people closest to you, and it can often feel like in those moments that you are not ready for a relationship. It’s the moment you recognise the way you’ve treated the person you’re with.”

‘Make You Feel’ is mellow and bathed in summer afternoon languor. The vocals recede beneath an infectious, upbeat instrumental; Wild Front, despite the lyrics tinged with an inner turmoil, still have the ability to lift you with their natural lightness of sound. The shoegaze sensibilities that define their style are still present, but ‘Make You Feel’ abandons a more stripped-back approach for something with far more urgency. It’s a visceral track that twinkles with its powerful instrumental and sensitivity.

INTERVIEW

I had the pleasure of talking to Jack and Josh, the vocalist and drummer of Wild Front after their performance at Leeds Festival. After being in Wild Front for three years, how do they manage working in an environment as intense and demanding as a recording studio while producing their new album? “We’ve always played together ever since we started music. We’re really great friends and we understand how we all work.” Jack told us. “Because we’ve known each other for so long, we know how to deal with certain situations. We each have little things that winds us up, but you know if someone’s tired or stressed we all understand and know not to cross a line.” Josh added. “In the studio we know what each of us like. We might think “Okay, so this is something that Joe would like”, so we’ll include that; or there will be something that Mike likes, so we include that – it’s very democratic and works well for us.”

Wild Front are a band from Southampton: a city not reputed for its burgeoning music scene the same way the likes of London and Manchester are. There is a deep-rooted preconception that in order to succeed as a creative, you have to base yourself in these cities. “I don’t think success is location based at all, no. I was actually born in London and moved down to Southampton. I think it’s much more to do with the people you’re with and the music you’re creating, and the dynamic between you. If I hadn’t moved away from London, I would never have met these guys. Not like we’re like really, really successful – but I’m proud of what we make.” Jack said, “In the time that we’ve been a band, the traction we’ve gained from being in Southampton has been way more than if we’d come from somewhere like London. We’re one of the few bands around in that town that are doing festivals as big as this, so it’s easier to stand out I suppose. Whereas in London you’re just a drop in the ocean.” “That’s the thing with places like London: so many bands are trying to do the same thing, it’s over-saturated. You’re fighting against the odds just to get noticed in your own area. Yes, there’s much more of music culture there, but it’s swings and roundabouts.” Josh continued.

Creeper, a fellow Southampton rock band, had just finished a set on the main stage as we started chatting. Josh said, “It’s quite cool that a lot of bands from our area are playing at Leeds. Creeper’s set was absolutely packed. There’s a venue called The Joiners which has been really great to us; they’ve really helped bring through local talent. In terms of the progression upwards, they had a lot of contacts to help us with that.” Jack commented, “The Southampton music scene over the last few years goes up and down, but right now I think it’s in a really great place. There’s been a new venue that’s opened called Heartbreakers, which is insane, a really good promoter runs that one too. I think it’s on a high.”

What advice would Wild Front give to young, aspiring musicians about how to carve a path for themselves in the music industry? “One of the most important things is to hone your writing. Constantly try to exercise being creative – think of it as a muscle. It can be hard to lose sight of it when you’re gigging. Always remember that the most important thing of all is what you’re making.” Jack said.

It’s easy to forget the mental and physical strain musicians endure in such a demanding industry when everyone wants something from you. For a rising band like Wild Front, we were curious to know how they manage to stay healthy and happy. “Going back to what I was saying earlier about being musicians and creatives, there is always this pressure to be better than what you are. For me, if I have a day off I like going to Surrey Hills. I actually live in London, so I like to just get away from everything. When you’re met with so many demands it becomes so overwhelming, so it’s nice to just take time to think and take a break from everything. It seems that there more successful you are, the harder it is to do because you’re constantly self-doubting.” Josh said. “You’re often comparing yourself to other musicians and what they’re doing. It is very important to look at what you’re doing and evaluate it. I think it’s good to be criticised a little when you release your work, but it’s important not to take that too personally.”

It’s hardly contestable that Wild Front are a successful band. Having brought their music to the likes of Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds with their singles attracting hundreds of thousands of listeners, it was surprising when Josh said that success, for Wilf Front, is a long way off: “I think every time we do something that I’m proud of, like Leeds Festival, like Isle of Wight, I’m thinking about the next thing. I think it’s hard in a band to think about what point you can look at everything you’ve done and go “You know what, we’re doing alright actually”. Sometimes I wonder if headlining Glastonbury would even be enough because there’s always something to do next. You’ve got to get to the point where you’re completely happy with your music, and I think as a creative you’re always trying to better what you’ve already done. I wonder if it’s ever possible to be completely satisfied – perhaps it’s better not to be.”

WATCH THE LYRIC VIDEO PREMIERE HERE:

Sophie Walker

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