Impossible Shapes We Like It Wild

The Impossible Shapes have been perfecting their indie pop style since their debut in 2000, but only with their fourth release, We Like It Wild, has the Bloomington, Indiana-based quartet been able to focus their energy into a solid whole. Their sound, oft-compared to experimental psych-pop bands like E6’s Olivia Tremor Control (more Bill Doss than Will Hart) channelled through the Welsh pop scene, hasn’t changed significantly since Laughter Fills Our Hollow Dome or Bless the Headless, and neither has their ability to write a great hook. The beautifully spacious production, on the other hand, has very noticeably improved, giving the upbeat numbers a beneficial punch and the atmospheric ballads, "To Be Wild” and "What the Winter Does,” an extremely intimate foundation. The band also continues to pull few stops in terms of showing off their dynamic instrumental prowess, showcased best on the album’s epic closer, "Lovers Living Uphill.” Pared down to a tidy ten tracks, cutting out the occasional unrefined repetition or throwaway filler like "Birds,” We Like It Wild could’ve been a flawless pop record. As it stands, the Impossible Shapes have created something remarkably close to it, and judging by the abundance of ideas flowing through this record, it’s only a matter of time before they succeed. (Secretly Canadian)