This Album Changed My Life: Wild Beasts – Two Dancers (2009)

Talos on the soundtrack to his 20s, full of raw humanity, boozy nights, fragility and love

Two Dancers was in many ways the soundtrack to my 20s, full of raw humanity, boozy nights, puffed-up chests, questions, fragility and love. The album first set its claws in me after I saw Wild Beasts play at Cyprus Avenue in Cork in 2010, a gig that made you feel you had witnessed something important, cast out upon a landscape largely occupied by boisterous masculinity.

The album itself was the band's second, and is one that demonstrates legitimate sonic growth and a real hunger to excel beyond what already existed. What I loved about the band was how they spoke about their music being of a place. It never tried to sound like it was made in Los Angeles or in some Scandipop candyfloss sweatshop. Instead it was embedded in the Lake District, dark London streets, or a skaggy alley next to some dingy nightclub in Leeds. Lyrically, it is a marvel; wide-eyed, brave and multisensory, as in these lines from Hooting & Howling:

Carry me, hooting and howling
To the river to wash off my hands
Of the hot blood, the sweat and the sand

If there is more to come from the Beasts, who broke up earlier this year, then I wait with bated breath. If not, to leave behind a piece of work with such heft and beauty is something to be utterly proud of. I will forever have its tingling aftertaste dancing on my tongue. – In conversation with Niall Byrne


The deluxe edition of Talos's Choice-nominated album, Wild Alee, is on BMG. Talos plays the Academy in Dublin on October 6th and Cork Opera House on October 28th, with further Irish dates in December