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Getting To Know: WILDES

London singer-songwriter WILDES is set to captivate audiences once again with her upcoming EP 'Subsidence,' scheduled for release on March 15. The EP marks a return to her roots, as WILDES takes charge of the entire production process from her Dalston flat, infusing her intimate style into every note. Following the success of her debut album 'Other Words Fail Me,' released in January to widespread acclaim, WILDES is ready to explore new emotional depths.

The lead single, "heartbreak is silent," serves as a powerful preview of what's to come. The song delicately captures the aftermath of a heart-wrenching end to a cherished relationship, reflecting WILDES' personal journey through heartbreak. With influences from legends like PJ Harvey and Patti Smith, WILDES showcases a sonic evolution in "heartbreak is silent." The track's subtle yet pulsating rhythm, coupled with evocative lyrics, paints a vivid picture of romantic trauma. As WILDES sings, "Heartbreak is silent for me / Not the crying in the rain it’s intended to be," listeners are taken on an emotional journey through the nuanced silence of heartbreak. Get ready for WILDES to redefine her own musical landscape with 'Subsidence.'

1. Congratulations on the upcoming release of your EP 'Subsidence.' Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the title and what listeners can expect from this collection of songs?

The title of this EP initially came from a lyric in the final track, which uses the word ‘subside’ in quite a hopeful way, but the more I thought about it, I realised that subsidence as a concept reflected my emotional state whilst writing these songs. I really felt as if the ground had crumbled beneath me, and what little foundations I’d started to build, collapsed with it. These songs are potentially the most honest and vulnerable I’ve ever written. 

2. Your new single, "heartbreak is silent," is described as a poignant exploration of post-breakup emotions. How did your personal experiences shape the creation of this track, and what do you hope listeners take away from it?

I wrote this after the very abrupt end of a great relationship. The whole experience changed me for the better, but everything that followed made me reconsider my relationship to heartbreak - and this song came out of asking those questions. I wasn’t able to get rid of that pain, so naming it and understanding what it meant to me made it a much less scary prospect. I’d hope that it might encourage listeners to consider their relationship with their emotional self, as that understanding is what helps us navigate the most difficult of times. 

3. 'Subsidence' sees you returning to your roots, self-producing, and recording the entire project from your flat in Dalston. How did this change in the creative process impact the overall sound and feel of the EP?

Even when I’m just writing, I generally take the production of my demos as far as I possibly can, so the creative process wasn’t hugely different until I decided to release these songs. Considering them as a body of work, letting them inform one another really helped me to develop a consistency in technique and palette. Apart from ‘heartbreak is silent’ which is the most sonically confronting, I wanted the songs to feel soft and cocooning, like an intimate conversation between me and the listener.

4. You've mentioned PJ Harvey and Patti Smith as core influences on your project. How do these influences manifest in "heartbreak is silent," and how would you describe the sonic evolution showcased in this single?

Patti had a strong lyrical influence on this song. I approached writing the lyrics as a body of poetry, rather than my usual process of writing lyrics to melody. Starting out with the concept of ‘heartbreak is…’ was a huge structural device, and really formed the core of this song. Similarly, PJ’s often quite deadpan delivery was also a big driving force when recording the vocals. I wanted to sound intense yet nonchalant, reflecting how stunned I still was from the break up. In terms of sonic evolution, I’m focusing a lot more on heavier drum sounds and break beats in my production, and this song is a little gateway to that in the future. I like to think I’m finally learning to harness intensity in the right way through my music.

5. Your 2023 debut album 'Other Words Fail Me' was a powerful testimony of survival and self-discovery. How does 'Subsidence' build upon the narrative of your musical journey, and what themes or emotions are explored in this new collection of songs?

Following on from my debut album, ‘Subsidence’ to me feels like a much more mature statement, both musically and contextually. Compared to the album, it deals with incredibly recent events in my adult life, and was a real outlet for me to explore who I am and what I want right now as a grown woman, rather than the person I have been in the past. It’s a lot more honest, contains strong statements of desire and will, and I think demonstrates a lot more trust in myself and my needs. Being able to love again after not knowing you could is an incredible thing, and this EP encompasses all that - including letting that love go.

6. The success of your music has earned you recognition globally, including notable syncs on US TV shows. How has this broader exposure influenced your approach to songwriting and the stories you want to tell through your music? 

It hasn’t changed my approach necessarily -  I’ve always wanted to tell the most honest and real stories, not only because they’re often the most relatable, but because I find it most satisfying as a writer. However, the broad spectrum of listeners across the world has definitely reinforced my confidence and desire to commit to it. The human experience can be so lonely, yet it is a completely shared experience, and feeling seen and heard, whether through film, art or music, is really vital to us as human beings. It has made me braver.


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