As a feast of aural eroticism it may have made us blush but, more importantly, as a piece of state-of-the-art indie-pop, ‘Smother’ was astonishing. The delicate choirboy grace of the Kendal quartet remained from their previous records, but on their third album it pulsated with urgent desire and need. By reaching back and borrowing a few tricks from the sonic broom cupboards of ‘Sensual World’-era Kate Bush and The Blue Nile’s Paul Buchanan (at his most keenly romantic), they tempered this with a minimalism which meant the atmosphere was spare and pre-coital, a fitting soundscape for the dewy-eyed lyrics. In the end, ‘Smother’ was a complete work that brought up new and interesting surprises on repeated listens. The album etched its heart on the wings of spring, soundtracking not just the birth of a new love but the amazing rebirth of Wild Beasts as a band. PE
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