Upper Wilds – “Love Song #2”

Upper Wilds – “Love Song #2”

Upper Wilds is the current noise-pop project of the always entertaining Dan Friel, who once upon a time was the driving force behind Parts & Labor. After dropping their Mars album in 2018, the band — which also includes bassist Jason Binnick and drummer Jeff Ottenbacher — is prepping a new one called Venus for release through Thrill Jockey this July. Just as the last LP was inspired by the Roman god of war, this one is themed around the same pantheon’s goddess of love — the one who was the subject of a #1 hit for both Shocking Blue and Bananarama (and a completely different #1 hit by Frankie Avalon).

Upper Wilds’ Venus comprises 10 numbered love songs, proceeding in orderly sequence from “Love Song #1” to “Love Song #10.” Our first preview of the album is “Love Song #2,” a bludgeoning high-speed rocker that somehow also feels like pop music — think Torche performing on a runaway train. The lyrics also contribute to the sense of exhilarating whoosh! that animates this track: “Thursday turns to Friday/ And the Highway turns to sky/ Cousin Amy drives a truck now/ June turns to July/ It’s all speeding up now/ It’s all flying by.”

Few bands could pull off such an impressive balance of fast, ferocious, and fun. Listen below.

01 “Love Song #1”
02 “Love Song #2”
03 “Love Song #3”
04 “Love Song #4”
05 “Love Song #5”
06 “Love Song #6”
07 “Love Song #7”
08 “Love Song #8”
09 “Love Song #9”
10 “Love Song #10”

Venus is out 7/23 on Thrill Jockey. Pre-order it here.

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