Published Jan 30, 2015In discussing the theme of the new High Dials album, vocalist Trevor Anderson revealed that he spent a lot of time leading up to the recording working as a DJ and immersing himself in Montreal nightlife. The subsequent psychedelic grooviness of In the A.M. Wilds is not to be misconstrued as clubby or as a party record; the record is, according to Anderson, about "the night [as it] appears as a wilderness, a world people get lost in, for better or worse." The album deals with angst, anxiety, romance and the plethora of other conflicting emotions one encounters in an after-hours revelry.
In the A.M. Wilds rips a couple of tracks from the High Dials' most recent EPs, Yestergraves and Desert Tribe, to deliver 14 solid tracks and a few interludes (none except the final track exceed the 4:30 minute mark). Since the current cast of the High Dials revolves around core members Trevor Anderson and Robbie MacArthur, they have been able to more readily explore new genres and instruments. The result is a new brand of bumpy, post-punk pop songs that have the prominent bass lines of a Smiths recording and the drum machine beat of Daft Punk. Upon this rhythmic foundation, the High Dials layer synths and guitars to create an entirely new variety of electro pop that is extremely versatile and melodious.
The romance of "On Again, Off Again," the mystery encounter of "Afterparty" and the guilt of "Evil Twin," played one after the other, is perhaps the best snapshot of High Dials' intention for the album; to show all the facets of living for those long nights out. (Fontana North/Universal)