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Review: The Wild Reeds, 'The World We Built'

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still at the bottom of the page.

The Wild Reeds: <em>The World We Built</em>
/ Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist
The Wild Reeds: <em>The World We Built</em>

It's somewhat rare to find three singers so in sync as The Wild Reeds' Kinsey Lee, Sharon Silva and Mackenzie Howe. Rarer still is the trio's songwriting skills; think Crosby, Stills and Nash.

The band's sophomore release, The World We Built,is underpinned by brash guitar textures, harmonium and a killer rhythm section. The Wild Reeds grasp the wonders of song. They even praise the salvation a song can bring on opening track "Only Songs." Its lyrics begin looking back at youth "when the world was small, I didn't fear / I didn't fear it at all" and how love slips away and heartache remains.

Then comes the refrain:

"'Cause the only thing that saves me / Are the songs I sing, baby / You can't save me from anything / Not from my twisted mind nor wasted time / From heartache or all my mistakes / Not from the world and its dark way"

Power chords drive the song, but the way Lee, Silva and Howe pull back the instruments and set us up for the climatic vocal makes this refrain loop in my head long after I listen.

But it's the album's epic seven-minute closing number, "Fruition," that's the killer cut and fully demonstrates the growth of this Los Angeles band. There are songs within this tune that weave and collide with thought and expression. The World We Built is more than a fun listen — if you're a lover of songs of the heart, here's 11 songs that will save you.

The World We Built is out April 7 on Dualtone Records.

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