Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Not all that many years ago, there was a band from Ireland called The Thrills that came over to the United States to immerse itself in Californian culture - mostly the geography, its slopes, its hang-ups, its gloriously golden mythology, its fiction and all of the allure that even through debauched living and exploitation has remained mysterious and good. The members of that band, having never been here before, lived for months near San Diego and became utterly steeped in the feeling, in the air of what California was, writing from the perspective of someone set on never taking those places of varying degrees of mystique, for granted. The Thrills got it completely right on their debut, So Much For The City, in an illustrative sense, in the kind of way that mountainside and its timber must have looked as majestic raw materials to Gutzon Borglum before he chiseled Washinton, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln into the side of it. They literally nailed it and did the kinds of things with the state of excess and most concentrated collection of bullshit that made the place desirable and of fantasy. It's what The Killers were trying and occasionally did with their ode to Las Vegas with Sam's Town. New Hampshire's Wild Light (coincidentally now touring as the support on a string of Killers dates) give the same sort of satisfying and delightful stab at the extreme northeastern part of the country, where the air is arguably nicer, the trees arguably heartier and healthier, the skies arguably sharper and the beauty of the overall picture arguably toughest to leave. They seemingly appreciate their home state and all of its various nuances and characteristics that set it apart from the gaudy sunlight-tossed attitude of the state whose Christmas days are still in the 70s and the coin slot clinkings of the risk takers of The Strip, where all the carpet is the same and the buffets are depressing. The four members of Wild Light (Jordan Alexander, Seth Kasper, Timothy Kyle and Seth Pitman) seem to gasp in where they're from and then let it all hang out in an appreciative tone, even when that appreciative tone is telling San Francisco and Oakland to fuck themselves. It's alright, because it comes out of love for where they're from and not hatred toward the Bay Area and all of the Californian cities surrounding it. The music that they make together gives a person the sense of a hammock and of very few cares in the world - none that should be important enough to disturb a good piece of leisure time in that bed made out of swinging twine. It blows toward you like so many tickling kisses, smacking onto your cheeks and throwing all of the color needed into a face. These are songs that speak almost to an end of the world sort of place, safe from contamination, tucked off where there's no chance of snuffing out the beautiful surroundings, just the open invitation to enjoy them. It's as if the songs are asking that all that's seen be taken on face value, as if the dark of a night contains nothing at all disturbing or scary, just a lack of light. It's not to say that bad things cannot happen in this place - or wherever the songs live - but it is to say that there's a better chance of getting out of there alive. Here we are in New Hampshire, where we're coming to find out, is the home of the northern lights, or at least the sandbox for where they play around during the early parts of the evenings when there's a showtime. They do private dances in the skies of wherever Wild Light is glancing upon while they're swaying to the sounds in its head. The lights freckle across a crystal clear lake and slightly smile, making themselves completely open for a rendering by a band.