I am a huge fan of Wild Beasts so I had been waiting for their new album for quite some time, and their new album is accompanied by their latest single; Albatross. From the very start we are hit with a completely new sound from this English group. We are all familiar with their art rock sound with slow melodies, echoing instruments, layered vocals, and sometimes joking lyrics. But this song hits us with a new addition to the band, a synth. Now adding an electronic element to their spectrum seems to bring new life to this amazing band.
But have no fear, upon listening to the track you are quickly reassured that the iconic and memorable elements that define Wild Beasts is still present. Albatross instantly hits you with a classic electronic/ synth pop sound and then slowly grows to be filled out by Wild Beasts other musical talents being perfected with the introduction of the vocals.
The name Albatross has more meaning in this song than just a sea bird. Since the 1798 poem titled The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the albatross has taken on the symbolic weight of a negative omen and a burden. In the poem a sailor on a large ships shoots down a Albatross which was following the ship (meant to be a good sign), the other sailors punish him for ruining their good luck and force him to wear the dead albatross around his neck to try to fight off the curse, but to no avail. This same symbolic meaning to echoed in the Wild Beasts' lyrics. In the song, the Albatross is metaphorically used to symbolize a burden which someone carries and blames all of his hardships on. It even directly hints at the original poem with lines like "Its my neck around which you hang like a chain or a tag." The lyrics express a painful burden which the writer carries with him and can't seem to escape, could it be a person or an event? We are left not knowing what his Albatross is, but at least we are given an amazing song.