Wildlight is a wonderful collaboration between Ayla Nereo, a singer whom I’ve just started to follow that covers a diverse world and folk styled music, and David Sugalski aka The Polish Ambassador. The resulting mix is a beautiful blend of electronic pop tracks that are perfectly accented with World music elements and great selection of instruments.
Opener “Rain” sets up things perfectly with a mid tempo pop beat that is covered with synthesised Koto and Ayla singing like a wolf, calling and responding to her cries. In between that there’s a solid pop track too but it’s the mature world fusion elements that really elevate the album as a whole to a top tier album. “Crucible” swaps out koto for hammered dulcimers (my favourite instrument alongside a piano) and some beautifully muted tuned percussion. The result when paired alongside a fast vocal and smooth trip hop beats is phenomenal. It’s like audio silk. “Ours to Give” changes it up for Spanish guitar and just like the dulcimer before, the fluidity of the instrument stops something quite rigid like a four chord keyboard pattern becoming stale as it is dotted around the track to accent lines and motifs. The first two tracks are slightly darker in tone whilst this track has an uplifting chorus and a more ethereal vocal treatment. The lyrics are gorgeous throughout the album but I particularly love the chorus:
“Here we are ancient, a wind that carries
the rough seed, and we are young and foolish
a reckless whim, yet turning in, look deeper in
to the grinding shoal of the swiftest change
and all we may recall… recall…
what’s ours to give, what’s ours to give”
“Get Up Out Your Way” turns things to a more dance focused track with a pulsing bass line and beat and an incredibly catchy chorus. I could see this being a dance floor hit in the summer with the guitar arrangements amped up. “Grace, Fully” takes things to a slower sombre mood with a more indie guitar ballad. An endless loop of guitar and guitar harmonics are layered with keyboards to produce an endless decent style of a sound loop. Drums come in for the chorus but it’s all about the loop and the multi layered vocals that Ayla pitches perfectly with her evocative lyrics. “Holy Dust” is a slower track too that is very airy in production with a solitary violin and lots of tuned percussive blocks providing the melody. It feels like the breeze before “Move Like The Ocean” comes in with the sea air and smell with a further breezy mid tempo track full of Latin influence.
“From the Ground Up” changes things up again after the Latin section to take things into a groovy Middle Eastern flair. The percussion is very aboriginal but the violins, chord structures and chord bending that takes place makes it feel more Eastern. It’s a calm track on the surface but actually the chorus with it’s rising angst portrays a more dramatic edge to the album. “Lantern” is far more dancey and crosses a lot of previous flavours before “Lily Moon” takes things to a more abstract electronica root. Finger clicks, laser beams, metallic pulses and watery beats fill your ears with a bass heavy piece. “I Could Write” then finishes off the album with a mega catchy dream pop track with all the trimmings on before a reprise of “Holy Dust” gives us reworked stripped down version of the track that then bursts into a drum and bass lite remix.
Wildlight have genuinely struck gold here with this mix of synth and folk. It’s the perfect blend of each and they compliment their styles really well. Also because the two have such a wide palette to work with, they can really spread their wings further if they work together again. Sleeper hit of 2015? Quite possibly!