"In detail you were even more beautiful than from afar," sings Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe on Palace, the closing song here. He could be referring to Present Tense. The immediacy of opener Wanderlust, which enters atop a darkly ominous synth riff and exits via an irresistibly venomous put-down, is something of a red herring: the other songs are slower to reveal their charms. But dig deep and there's powerful drama and enigmatic subtlety in equal measure as the Cumbrian four-piece once again embrace understated electronica and invite favourable comparisons with Talk Talk. It all makes for an album in which to lose yourself.
Wild Beasts: Present Tense – review
Phil Mongredien works on the Guardian's opinion desk. He also reviews albums for Q magazine