Taking cues from his hometown of Bristol, Virginia, the birthplace of country music, Wes White made the investment of his life when he bought an acoustic guitar for himself during college, kickstarting his songwriting career. White found that the opinions on his country that he developed in school were best put to use in song form. Wildfire is a collection of songs artistically outlining his views, making for a thought-provoking, enjoyable listening experience.
The album begins with “Detestable Practices” and a catchy, repetitive fiddle riff that is interspersed throughout the tune. The song is a coming of age anthem for White’s generation, urging people to take responsibility for their actions and make a positive change in the world. Stylistically, the song explores themes from country and folk, as well as a bit of indie pop.
The record’s title track follows with a steady beat and a reserved dynamic range. The verses are held together by the vocals from White, and when the chorus lifts the song’s energy, White lifts his voice to reach the same energy level. The lyrics of the song suggest a paradox between joy and temporality, and they highlight the importance of learning from experiences.
“Heart of Stone” takes a slightly darker tone than the previous tracks on the album. Minor chording and emotive, wistful singing combine to depict a somber, serious atmospheric aura. This is the way that White chooses to express his occasional struggle with some aspects of depression. Melodic and free, this song is definitely a highlight of the album.
“TN Roads” delves even deeper into a slow, atmospheric musical setting. Loose strumming and reverb-laced vocals create a serene, yet interesting blend of jazzy elements and high register singing. Coming to a close with “Love and Lightning,” White picks up the energy and returns to a more folk-infused style. Fiddle, guitar and steady percussion lay down a soundscape that complements White’s solid voice. Lyrically, the song revolves around stopping worrying and moving on in life.
Overall, Wildfire is a well-polished set of unique songs that have been generated from a special mix of multiple genres. As White is currently writing and recording his second album, fans can be assured from listening to Wildfire that more great music is soon arriving from this fantastic songwriter.
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