Equal parts driving/danceable and spacey/chill, Wishes and Thieves' latest Forest Fire EP is a perfect peace of dreamy indie pop. The band is anchored by a rhythm section that seems determined to steal Bloc Party's crown of superhuman tightness (because obviously art is a competition, right? Oh. Right.) Dreamy synths wash over the songs painting everything with the surreal colors of expired film. Lead singer Jolanda Porter presides over the band, simultaneously cool and intense, like the love-child of Karen O and Beth Gibbons.
Wishes and Thieves are masters of the fake-out. Title track “Forest Fire” teases a cathartic explosion for most of it's sublime running time. It simmers, always hinting at an epic rock-out that only sort of ever comes. “Let You In” rides a miles-deep groove beneath Jolanda's staccato vocals. Like everything else the band does, it's a bundle of contradictions. Sexy and a little sad. Ethereal but a little heavy. This is music for rainy afternoons but also dance parties.
The EP is wall to wall single-worthy tracks. If the closing track “Train” isn't a huge hit within the year, there is no justice in the world. You can pick it up via iTunes.
- Words by Nathan Leigh