The ferocious sound of Wildlife

By Crystal Gleeson

The startling roar of a lion, the thumping of a gorilla’s fists against its chest and the sinister laugh of a hyena are just some of the sounds that come to mind when one thinks of the word “wildlife.” However, a new sound has been added to the mix. Enter Wildlife, a five-piece (human) band hailing from the far-off land of Toronto. Their debut album Strike Hard, Young Diamond well-received by critics, Wildlife is off to a swift start. Having been compared to Canadian artists such as Wolf Parade and the Born Ruffians, Wildlife is in good company.

Wildlife has differentiated itself in what has become today’s highly-saturated indie music market by providing their audience with a distinct musical experience, particularly with their live shows.

“It’s not a planned delivery. It’s almost more of a personal thing, and I think that people like it,” says frontman Dean Povinsky.

And like it they do. The band has gained a lot of attention for their spirited and infectious high-energy shows. One could even go as far as to call the shows themselves “wild.” The exuberance of Wildlife’s live performances shows that the band is incredibly passionate about the music they are playing, and are genuinely excited to share it with the world. Unlike most bands who claim to feed off the energy of their audience, Wildlife instead flips the cards and acts as the energy source for their audience. Providing people with a unique experience that cannot be replicated by listening to the album in your bedroom is the key to what differentiates the band from similar acts within their genre.

“A big part of our goal in making our record was to try and really infuse it with the live feeling, with what it is like and how it sounds when we perform live,” Povinsky explains.

It is clear to anyone familiar with the Canadian indie music scene that Wildlife is gaining momentum and quickly making a name for themselves. However, Povinsky has his own thoughts on the relationship of Strike Hard, Young Diamond with future Wildlife releases, and ultimately with the future of the band itself.

“We’re just trying to grow our experience and grow the band and grow the album that we have now. We’re just kind of doing it organically and letting it do its own thing, and it’s on an upward arc.

“With the next album, we want to reach even more people. In five years I don’t know exactly where I see us, but I definitely see us still playing and getting bigger and playing bigger shows.”

But Povinksy still has reason to be excited about Wildlife’s present exploits. He and his bandmates are anxiously anticipating the vinyl release of Strike Hard, Young Diamond.

“Our vinyl [LP] is going to be coming out in a bit, and I’m sort of pumped to . . . see where that goes. I know my friends have been asking for it.”

From the name of the band itself to the name of their first album, Wildlife’s youthful energy and zest for life scream at you like the lion’s roar, gorilla’s thump and hyena’s laugh all put together. The lyrics are heartfelt, the sound is fresh and in an age where finding music that seems genuine is rare, Wildlife is killing it.

You too can experience the raw sound and infectious energy of a Wildlife show at the Marquee Room on June 8. It will be Wildlife’s first time playing in Calgary, as well as their first time touring the great Canadian west. It’s sure to be a good show, and a musical homage to five lives lived out loud — and wildly so.

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