WILDES – “Illuminate” (Stereogum Premiere)

WILDES is the moniker of Ella Walker. She makes spacious, deconstructed, but exquisitely arranged indie pop that allows her beautiful voice and piercing lyrics to float effortlessly above. Her latest offering, after her debut single “Bare,” is the deceptively gauzy “Illuminate.” Walker gorgeously sings about the competing complexities of human nature. Graceful piano flourishes, rumbling, deep synths, and drums reminiscent of a beating heart in a stethoscope lifting the song to a cathartic crescendo for her tender plea on the refrain “It’ll be nothing, it’ll be nothing/ It’ll be nothing without you.” Through her raw vulnerability the song carries a moving potency with an irresistible infectiousness. Here’s what Walker had to say about the song:

“Illuminate” is a reflection on our human error. It’s about recognizing (or illuminating) the qualities that make us human, but can also lead to our downfall. The song came from the idea that we will do anything – whether it be good or incredibly dangerous – for the people we love and the causes we believe in.