Wife Patrol – Valentine Citrus (self-released)

Wife Patrol – Valentine Citrus (self-released)

Indianapolis alternative rock band Wife Patrol released dreampop single Valentine Citrus ahead of debut album Too Prickly For This World, out 4 September. 

Wife Patrol press photoArtist: Wife Patrol
Track: Valentine Citrus
Label: self-released
Released: 14 August 2020
Find it: Bandcamp | Spotify

The season starts to turn again. It isn’t so much the flip of another redundant page in this year’s calendar, as the chill in the air, and the slow float from branch to ground of yellow-curled leaf. The sky a crisp Wedgewood Blue between clouds with grey faces turned down toward us, as we stutter between isolation and a return to the normal so few of us want. We hang mutely and shocked by the change of pace, the surfacing truths. We take comfort where we can.

Recent track from Indianapolis’ Wife Patrol offers that sort of comfort, that momentary escape. On softly cycling melodies, layered vocal harmonies, and hissing percussion this song feels like an invite to lay on your back in the cool of dew-jewelled grass and let nothing but the damp earth below and the cold sky above touch you for a while.

With the pastoral motif of ’60s psyche pop underpinning the track the guitar tone brings a Country feel and substance, mirroring the stronger lines taken elsewhere in the band’s work. Vocalist and bassist Nicole O’Neal describes the song as, “Valentine Citrus is this album’s Old Town Road. It’s got some serious twangy vibes. It’s dreamy, it’s groovy, it’s porch-sitting-while-sipping-a-cold-drink-at-sunset music.” Guitarist Greg O’Neill picks up saying it, “feels wistful and happy-sad, like falling leaves.”

One of a run of singles taken from their debut album – Too Prickly For This WorldValentine Citrus is the most languorous of the tracks shared so far. More dreampop than the punk-pop displayed elsewhere, it’s a nice change of pace within the wider album. Of the album the band say, “the record explores everything from power structures, toxic culture, and friendship, to the hellish winter weather phenomena of the Great Plains”.

Working with producer P. David Hazel (The Lemonheads, Extra Blue Kind, Bullet Points) throughout last year the album touches on various genres within the broader alt-rock field – punk, grunge, shoegaze, psyche – but feels very much a cohesive work with care in how to weave between sounds and structures. In places pointed and rough-edged this single provides a space to breath, the bittersweetness of something passing to the sound and the lyric.

Valentine Citrus is taken from album Too Prickly For This World, out 4 September 2020. Find it on Bandcamp on vinyl, CD and digital.

Find Wife Patrol: website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp | Spotify

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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