Indie/ alt-rock band, Wild Domestic is the brainchild of Matt Carlson. Born in Paraguay, Carlson moved to Charlotte, North Carolina when he was six months old, and it is where he resides to this day. Wild Domestic’s newest record, Singular, was released just last week on January 18th. The beauty of Singular is Carlson’s ability to bring ear shattering dynamics to rather beautiful territory. Whether it be sampled electronics or tangible instruments, Carlson has a knack of meshing alt-rock with pop in a razzle dazzle style. “New Year, New Me” and “Author” showcase the gigantic hooks that flow naturally from Wild Domestic. Yet, with the hooks come a breakneck pacing to keep the music heavy and urgent. With that being said, the opening and closing to Singular have their own soundscape that throw enough of a curveball to keep the music interesting and thematically intertwined.
New Noise Magazine is proud to present a track by track look into Singular from the very eyes, ears and mind of Matt Carlson. Purchase Singular here.
1. Left, Right.
“Left, Right” the obvious introduction to the album, sets the over-all theme of the musical vignette – starting with two clear choices, suddenly forced into a third choice.
2. New Year, New Me
New Year is about letting go and feeling independent. In the Singular context, the story character is having a fairly common experience, driving to pick up belongings from an ex after a breakup and reflecting on the failed relationship. “New Year, New Me” serves as their first acceptance of the break up while still angry at the thought, “I’ve been doing things my own way, pretty soon you’re gonna see, a new year, new me.”
There is an element of the character’s paranoia in “Author”. Reality starts to set in that the relationship is over and there are questions left un-answered, mainly “Who was in the wrong?” “Did I do anything right?” These thoughts become a confusing storm. This frustration and paranoia is subtly musically expressed with the frantic punk beats, and fast moving chords and melodies.
“Headlights” expresses pure anger. The character has finally arrived at the ex’s house and engages in the typical final relationship argument where the character lets all the frustration out, letting the ex know how much they broke them down, and the character really just wants the worst for their ex. “You knew the game plan, when you took my hand, I hope the headlights leave you burning down.”
After the big eruption of anger, the character takes their belongings and gets on the road for the drive home. Expecting to feel distraught, there is surprise relief and hope when thoughts of true loving friends come to mind and shut out the negativity of the failure with the ex. There is realization that the relationship with the ex was a “fix” that didn’t work and that the good feelings in the character’s life may have been buried in the character all along. The bad relationship blocked the awareness that the character is ok alone. Things might end well after all.
Some time after the break up, as often happens, the character, has seemed to move on from the ex, is unexpectedly contacted by the ex. In a moment, the healing, the walls and the defenses that came after the break up come crumbling down. “Firewall” represents the image of an imperfect firewall and the fluid and powerful nature of feelings in a relationship. All the progress after the break up seems lost.
“Senses” is the realization that the character may be stuck with a “haunting” ex – maybe forever, but for sure right now. The ex is compared to a drug, “give me another hit, so I can deal with it.” Many of us have had the experience of being obsessed with a person, drug, etc that is addictive and can destroy. We never get totally rid of past toxic relationships. We live with the impact for better or worse as we move through our lives.
8. Right, Left.
Finally closing with “Right, Left”, which uses a sample in reverse from the intro, “Left, Right.” I wanted to end with a connection to the entire album but with a clean bookend and this seemed to fit!