We Are For The Wild Places is without a doubt one of the finest Kiwi albums we’ve heard this year.
On first listen, it can’t be faulted. No detail has been overlooked and everything is exactly where it needs to be. Folk music can all too often feel overdone, but not once does this feel forced. To be able to pour so much of yourself into something and still have it come out sounding effortlessly cool is an impressive feat that shouldn’t pass by unnoticed.
I could write a thesis on this album and the themes addressed, but for now I’ll stick to one of the more intriguing. Where many artists today are all about pulling bitches and breaking hearts, Baxter has addressed more relatable problems that arise in committed relationships such as compromise and compassion. This is particularly noticeable in “Keep Finding A Way” and “Fault Lines”, and is incredibly refreshing. Coming from any other top 40 artist, such themes could be dismissed as bland or irrelevant, but Baxter’s masterfully crafted lyrics and exceptionally put together arrangements give the themes meaning in a way that is anything but tiresome.
It’s the kind of album that on paper shouldn’t affect you on a deeper level, but the true magic of it lies in the fact that it does. It’s memorable, and in an incredibly oversaturated market, I think that’s all any artist could ever hope to be.
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