The East Sussex-based boys are back and better than ever; the flaming trio Wild Horse releases their highly-anticipated 18-track album entitled 'When The Pool Is Occupied.'
Wild Horse's music has a way of pitching camp in our hearts while also powering through with a powerful Gen-Z politically-charged message. Comprised of brothers Jack and Henry Baldwin and friend Ed Barnes, the trio flawlessly merges their wide array of influences to create something they can wholeheartedly call their own. From pop, rock, punky reggae to blue-eyed soul, dirty funky, and rap, the boys do it all. A prime example of their artistic versatility is their latest powerhouse record, 'When The Pool is Occupied.'
Diving headfirst into the record, we're met with the introductory track, "Happy Love Songs," which interestingly seems to be quite the opposite of what the song emits. A bright and cheerful piano melody begins to melt through our speakers while lead vocalist Jack Baldwin belts his powerful vocals singing lyrics like "Why aren't there any love songs anymore?" We agree. As a cascade of harmonies begins to clutch our souls, we're left feeling an abundance of chills while the boys emphasize the disappearance of happiness in the modern world.
Moving onto track number two, "Freaky Together," the song kicks off with a woozy and funky synth and Jack Baldwin's powerful and lustful vocal belt, hoping he'll get lucky. Right off the beat, we're enamored with the song's nostalgic appeal, especially as Ed Barnes' smashing drum breaks come in alongside Jack Balwin's bright alternative guitars and Henry Baldwin's groovy bass licks. The song is nothing more than a carefree summer anthem featuring the brilliance of funk and disco to remind listeners that love doesn't have to be difficult; instead, it should be as fun as the track at hand.
Blasting off into the next track, "Pornstar Martini," this song takes off right from the jump with electrifying guitar riffs, plucky bass licks, upbeat drum breaks, and Jack Baldwin's classic, raspy and energetic vocals. We can't help but completely lose ourselves amid this exhilarating funk fest, especially with Henry Balwin's heavy bass riffs that make our world go round. The song is a highly energetic and exciting experience that encourages the listener to explore their partner's mind and body while having some fun in the making. If there's one thing we know Wild Horse will provide, it's passion, and this song is no exception.
Getting in the groove of the next track, "W.A.N.T," the song takes of on a passionate note with Jack Balwin's lustful lyricism, his bright electric guitar riffs, Henry Baldwin's gripping bass licks, and Ed Barnes' snappy drum arrangements. We adore the sonics and instrumentation, it's clear that Wild Horse wanted to make this song feel like a 1970s Motown throwback, and they've done this precisely. Jack continues to soar over our speakers with passionate lyrics about taking someone home when the bar closes, and we must say that classic songs like these always tend to stand the test of time.
Slowing it down with track number five, "Coffee In The Morning," we must say that we adore Wild Horse's artistic versatility throughout the album thus far. Landing on this emotional track, we're met with more of a chilled-out jazz-inspired tune through Jack Baldwin's raspy and emotional vocals alongside his powerful piano melodies. Listening to his lyricism, he begins to expand on living for himself once again and letting a troubled relationship crumble to pieces after several attempts to mend it. Once Ed Barnes' mid-tempo drum breaks and Henry Baldwin's toe-tapping bass licks make their way in, the song shifts into this mesmerizing and soulful experience.
Hitting our speaker with another powerful piano introduction is the next song, "Feel," which begins with Jack Balwin's emotional vocals expressing his love for someone dear. Once light shakers begin to dance through our speakers, Jack later sings of hating how he's constantly fighting with his lover while feeling like no one is listening. We have to give props to Henry Baldwin for always saving the day and coming in strong with his subtle yet sonically delicious basslines, especially in this hit. He totally amplifies his brother's emotional lyrical message alongside Ed Barnes' tappy and lush drum breaks.
Spicing up our days with the album's seventh track, "Anxiety," the song blasts off with nothing but energy through Jack Baldwin's synth mastery, his beaming electric guitar riffs, Henry's bouncy synth bass, and Barnes' snappy drums. The tune is incredibly infectious, similar to how it's easy for us to feel anxiety when others are spinning through turmoil. Jack Baldwin continues to strain his vocals with the utmost control and poise while singing about a theme that's quite the opposite; being riddled with anxiety and wishing others wouldn't be so quick to judge. This song stands out as one of our favorites thanks to the impeccable guitar solo and the overall disco-infused appeal.
Taking the energy down a notch with track number eight, "Footprints In The Sand," the song opens with a beautiful and lush instrumental that sets the passionate and heartfelt tone. As Jack begins to pour his emotions through our speakers, he touches on a topic that's wildly relatable, wanting to break off a toxic relationship but feeling inclined to say due to an inner attachment. However, accompanied by Henry's warm synths and Barnes' light drum breaks, Jack Baldwin powerfully reminds himself that listening to his heart over his head will hurt him in the end. We love the natural emotion of this song; anybody can take something away from a track so raw and vulnerable.
Landing on the album's halfway point with the ninth track, "Symphony of Broken Hearts," the song opens with Ed Barnes' thumping kick drum and later leads into Jack Baldwin's soothing and heartfelt vocals. Alongside a warm piano melody and Henry Baldwin's plucky bass licks, Jack opens up about a relatable and emotional situation of dealing with the post-breakup blues, looking to the past with anger, and attempting to move forward to brighter days. This ballad is perfect for the lonely wanderer who yearns to feel a part of something greater; Wild Horse is here to remind you that you're not alone with this breathtaking and soulful piece.
Moving onwards and upwards, "Playin' On My Mind" begins with another groovy and funky instrumental through Ed Barnes' upbeat drum arrangements, Henry Baldwin's irresistible bass, and Jack Baldwin's shimmering guitar alongside his flaming hot vocal delivery. Listening to his lyricism, he sings of a tale we know all too well, feeling restless about his sleeping patterns and being anxious about the next day. The garage rock feel of this track is one of the most groovy and gripping sounds we've heard from the record, and it perfectly plays into the album's many relatable concepts as well.
Jumping into track number eleven, "Pray '89," Wild Horse does what they do best and launches their flaming and exciting funk-inspired instrumentals through our speakers without a dull moment. Instead of feeling down and out about toxic relationships like in prior songs, Jack Baldwin takes on a more uplifting and positive message of prioritizing self-love and having a no-strings-attached approach to his relationships before jumping into something he'll regret later. The song's overall groove is captivating, especially as Jack sings his sultry and lustful lyricism to up the energy and keep the power at a high.
Moving and grooving towards our hearts is the next track, "Confidence," which opens with Henry Baldwin's sultry bass licks, Ed Barnes' smooth mid-tempo drum breaks, and Jack Baldwin's chilling guitars and vocals. Expanding on Jack's meaningful lyricism, he lifts our spirits with his words of positivity that encourage the listener to be more body-positive and love every part of themself. Other than that, he basically drenches us in desire and lust, and so do Henry and Ed with their unison atmospheric instrumentals that are equally as sweet as they are savory, especially as they delve into the realms of jazz, hip hop, and 70s funk.
Calming the atmosphere with the next piece, "Just About Enough," the song gently opens with Jack Baldwin's soothing piano melodies and his emotional, raspy vocals. As he begins to expand on closing a chapter of his life, he later examines the doubts that linger regarding starting a new venture. Once Ed Barnes' airy and powerful downtempo drum breaks begin to pound through alongside Henry Baldwin's thick bass line, the song transforms into this cinematic, exhilarating, and soul-clutching atmosphere that's truly impossible to dislike. There's something for anyone to take away from this refreshing and rejuvenating track.
Making a "Breakthrough" with track number fourteen, we're met with a calming electric guitar melody from Jack Baldwin alongside his soothing and heartfelt vocal delivery. Once Barnes' soft drums and Henry's soothing bass licks begin to pulse their way through, Jack begins to touch on his troubled relationship and attempt to put the pieces back together. We'd like to take this opportunity to praise Jack for his lyrical abilities, especially in this track; he's made an emotional breakthrough to help anyone get out of their rut and back onto their journey towards self-love. This song is sent straight from the heavens, primarily through Wild Horse's enthralling and cinematic instrumentals.
Diving into the next track, "Record Collection," this was actually the first song that introduced us to Wild Horse's stylings through a previous feature. We're pleased to feature this groovy and nostalgic tune once more; Wild Horse blasts through our speakers with their country, blues, and Motown-infused instrumentals while singing a passionate and uplifting message. Jack continues to belt his vocals while inviting someone to come over and discuss their diverse music taste. This song is the brightest and most fun-loving tune to come from this album, and we're sure it'll take the band to new heights.
Swinging into our hearts is the next tune, "One Night Robbery," which kicks off with Jack Baldwin's twinkling guitars, his smooth vocals, Barnes' mid-tempo drum breaks, and Henry's steady bass licks. The overall song is a heavy alternative rock approach and leaves us moving and grooving the entire way through. Listening to Jack's lyricism, he tells an unfortunate yet rather hilarious tale of inviting someone for a one-night stand, only to have them leave before he wakes along with half of his belongings. This song is the perfect example of Wild Horse's dynamic approach to music, especially as they delve into comedic topics like this.
Making our way to the final tracks of the record with the seventeenth song, "Kelsie," the piece opens with a snazzy electric guitar, a dense and powerful bassline, and groovy mid-tempo drum breaks. Jack Baldwin delivers yet another heartfelt and honest performance while expressing how he's finally over his ex Kelsie and how she's much happier with her new therapist, a.k.a, Twitter. This is another comedic and charismatic song that leaves us grooving on our feet, especially once we reach the irresistible hook that drenches us in the utmost passion, life, and composure.
Landing on the album's last track with "Thank You (It's Gonna Be Alright)," this song is much shorter in length than the rest of the album and acts as the perfect inspirational and uplifting outro track. The sonics open with a distorted, hazy, and psychedelic synth that melts through our speakers with this haunting and ominous feel. This track features none other than Jack Baldwin, who continues repeating lyrics "it's gonna be alright" while ensuring that the future is ours for the taking. He ends the album with nothing but positivity and hopes that the future will treat him and us with kindness, love, and respect.
All in all, we were moved by the entire listening experience of Wild Horse's 18-track album, 'When The Pool Is Occupied,' and we're sure you'll love it just as much. Find 'When The Pool Is Occupied' on all digital streaming platforms on November 18.
Pre-save the album, here.
A warm welcome back to BuzzMusic Wild Horse and a major congratulations on releasing your jam-packed and conceptual album, 'When The Pool Is Occupied.' Firstly, where did the inspiration for the album's title come about?
The inspiration for the title kind of came out of nowhere. Initially, we were unsure what to call the album, and 'when the pool is occupied' was already a lyric in our song pray '89, and for some reason, that lyric stood out to us the most when we were looking through all the lyrics we had written. It then took on a whole new meaning of self-love and self-reflection, and then the entire concept of the album changed, and new songs came about inspired directly by the album name and the new meaning behind it.
When did you begin creating and executing ideas and approaches for the album 'When The Pool Is Occupied?' How long did it take to finalize the record?
Ideas for the songs which would eventually become the album started in early 2020 when the first lockdown came in. Jack decided to spend the time improving his signwriting, so he locked himself away and ended up writing over 200 songs in a few months. When it came time to start recording the songs in early January 2021, we knew we wanted a change in approach as we had been using the same studio for all our previous projects, and we wanted to progress. Around this time, another lockdown came in, so getting studio time was very difficult. So we decided to make our budget studio at home and record and produce the record ourselves. This was fun and unlocked a new creative side that allowed us to write many new songs we wouldn't have written before. As a result, many of the album's songs were written as the album was being recorded. The last songs were written for the album, 'Confidence,' 'Kelsie,' and 'Thank You (it's gonna be alright)' were all written within the final week of recording sessions. The album was finished recording in mid-August, so the process was over a year of writing and eight months of recording.
How does the album 'When The Pool Is Occupied' help us get to know the people behind the music? How does this album bring listeners closer to you?
This album, lyrically and musically, is the most personal album we've ever done. We wanted to open up to our fans and take them on the journey we've been on over the past year and a half. We talk candidly about breakups, mental health struggles, addiction, and ultimately the journey we have taken of self-discovery. To us, this album is really special as it starts with songs that were written in a time when the band, and the world, were not in the best place, but as the record progresses, songs come in that were written more recently about how we have learned to love ourselves and not give a damn what people think of us. We really hope that our fans can see this journey throughout the record and relate to us over it. This record has taught us a lot about ourselves, and we hope it does the same for our fans.
Does your band have a favorite song off the record, 'When The Pool Is Occupied?' Why are you drawn to that song in particular?
That's a tricky question because it often changes. At this time, our drummer Ed's favorite is 'Pray '89' because he loves the groove and thinks the lyrics are some of Jack's best and catchiest. He also loves 'Just About Enough' because it's a power ballad (territory we haven't been to before), and he does a mean guitar solo at the end. Henry's (bass, guitar, synths, vocals) current favorite is 'Breakthrough' because he loves how it builds up from a low-key song to a huge sounding horn section and intertwining guitar lines that remind him of oasis. He also loves the groove of 'W.A.N.T..' Jack's current favorite is 'Coffee in the Morning' because it's a personal song for him written at a time in his life that he is glad is over but is also very nostalgic of. He also loves the jazzy groove to the song as it is again territory the band had previously not explored. He also loves 'Confidence' because it embodies the band's current mindset of "we don't give a damn what people think of us as long as we're enjoying ourselves." It is also about body positivity which is, of course, a very important topic. Our manager, Stephen, also loves "Confidence" because it reminds him of the grooves of James Brown.
What was the most challenging aspect of creating the album 'When The Pool Is Occupied?'
How did you overcome these difficulties?
Conceptually, the most challenging part of making this album was the idea of being completely open and honest for everyone to see. We knew this record had to be the most honest one we have ever done as the situations that we had personally been through and the situations the world had been through since our last record required us to do so. But this was overcome as we made the record as it taught us a lot about ourselves and made us extremely confident and proud of who we are. In a technical sense, though, the most challenging part of making this record was recording at home by ourselves for the first time. We had to do a lot of research to understand what we needed to make our studio. Then after that, it was a struggle for a while as we had limited experience in producing a record by ourselves, so we just learned through trial-and-error. It was a challenge, but we're happy we did it as we could unlock a whole new side to ourselves creatively. We would then send off what we had done to be mixed by Al Scott, who did an incredible job bringing our sound alive, and we can't thank him enough.