When Wild Beasts announced that they would be calling it a day, the news came with an unusual absence of drama. There were no bust-ups or breakdowns to report, no warring words, not even a trace of the trademark “creative differences”. Instead there was a dignified and heartfelt message to their fans that explained that the band had run its course.
For those who’d watched the Cumbrian group grow from purveyors of peculiar guitar pop into one of the most inventive and important bands of their generation, the news came as a shock. Weren’t they just hitting the peak of their powers? Perhaps that was the point.
“I think there’s a life cycle with any band,” says Hayden Thorpe. “It reaches a point where the snake begins to eat its tail. Our last album, ‘Boy King’, felt just like our first record in many ways – in its fuck you spirit, in its sense of self-destruction.”
Wild Beasts will play their final ever shows in February next year, and we bid the band a bittersweet farewell with Last Night All My Dreams Came True – a live studio album to be released on February 16 via Domino Documents.
Last Night All My Dreams Came True is a career-spanning collection and features songs from each of Wild Beasts’ studio albums with an emphasis on Boy King, their most direct record yet. Looking back on Wild Beasts’ back catalogue and the themes they tackled, there is a sense of prescience – toxic masculinity, gender fluidity, the conflicts surrounding class, politics and art were no bandwagon jumps, often becoming hot topics in the media several years after they’d been eloquently dealt with on record.
Today, the band have shared The Devil’s Palace, a rarely-played track that blends The Devil’s Crayon, from the quartet’s debut Limbo, Panto, and Palace, from 2014’s Present Tense. An exclusive for the record, it showcases the vocal interplay between Thorpe’s falsetto and Tom Fleming’s baritone perfectly.
Recorded in two days over the summer at RAK Studios, Last Night All My Dreams Came True is the second official Domino Documents release and has more than fulfilled the Domino Documents aim to capture a band at the height of their powers, recording a selection of their finest songs.
“It’s us as tight and slick as we ever have been,” adds Tom. “And it’s also us giving the fewest fucks we’ve ever given. There’s a sense of celebration and destructiveness combined, a sense that the fetters are off. Not that they were ever on … but that sense of limited time before you shuffle off is very much a motivator.”
And make no mistake; this is the last time Wild Beasts will be doing such things. This is no hiatus and there are no crafty eyes on a future reunion. “We get to leave our desk by our own accord,” concludes Hayden, “and that makes us very lucky. Whoever gets to do that?”
Wild Beasts new Domino Documents album Last Night All My Dreams Came True is due February 16. Pre-order here.