Wild Beasts, band who brought sensuality to British indie, split up

Four-piece originated in Kendal in 2004 before scoring a Mercury nomination for second album Two Dancers and two Top 10 records

Wild Beasts, the four-piece British band whose literate guitar pop took them from indie oddity to festival headliner, have split up after 13 years together.

In a letter posted on Twitter, they wrote: “The four of us have decided, for our own reasons and in our own ways, that it is now time to leave this orbit. We’re care takers to something precious and don’t want to have it diminish as we move forwards in our lives.” They hinted at farewell concerts, saying: “Before we go, we’d like to celebrate with you.”


— Wild Beasts (@WildBeasts) September 25, 2017

They added: “We’ve created something quite of our own and built a body of work which we stand by as heartfelt and true,” and thanked fans for their “love and energy”.

The band formed in Kendal, Cumbria, in 2004, and stood out from the “landfill indie” of the era thanks to the flamboyant falsetto of frontman Hayden Thorpe, often placed next to the baritone of fellow vocalist Tom Fleming. After the energetic and rickety Limbo, Panto (2008), they honed their sound into sensual soft rock for second album Two Dancers, which earned them a Mercury prize nomination. They released another three albums – Smother (2011), Present Tense (2014) and Boy King (2016) – which saw them embrace ever more electronic production, with the latter two reaching the Top 10.

The band were noted for their lyrics, which frequently reflected on masculinity and sex. “We openly admit to being obsessed with sex,” Fleming told the Guardian in 2011. “We say things really bluntly at times – we like to be earthy.” They also wore their literary references and poetic lyricism with pride, railing against other bands for “dumbing down” their music.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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