Austin, Texas duo Dwight Baker and Patricia Lynn, aka The Wind + The Wave, ended 2022 by releasing a new Album, Racing Hearts. The album is full of the infectious pop that endears the band to its fans and a few unexpected surprises. I have to admit I have been keeping an eye out for this album. I’m enamored with Baker’s production and Lynn’s ability to turn a musical phrase. This album did not disappoint. Racing Hearts cleverly delivers weighty lyrics, pop earworms, and tunes that you can tuck away on your favorite indie-pop playlists.
For me, the album kicks in with the familiar. The light poppy-sounding “Keep Your Head Down” delivers the subtle nuances that make this band so much fun. Lynn turns phrases by speeding up and then slowing down in the same stanza. She won’t let your attention stray. She does her best work in the verses. When many singers save the cleverest inflection for the chorus, Lynn works a song from beginning to end. As an example, she rhythmically races into the lyrics, “I cannot speak. Don’t Know what I think” and then verbally pops the word “but” before slowing and allowing the words “my brain is keeping me alive” to trail off. This really gives the song so much energy. Another element of the song that stands out is the playful bouncing bass woven underneath the verse and chorus. Baker pulls together a sound on this track that balances so many good elements. This is a really fun song. The kicker is that I read the song to about a young mother worrying about her child going out into a world that is dangerous but still needs us to be a part of changing that world. The lyrics “Don’t forget to stand up and fight the good fight. Just keep your head down” really highlight just how difficult that message is to deliver.
For longtime The Wind + The Wave fans the opening track, “Feet in the Grass”, and the tune “Possibilities” will be right in your wheelhouse. Both songs feature many of the elements that make the band such an enjoyable listen.
For fans wanting to find something new in Racing Hearts, the band didn’t disappoint. “Wander” has a very cool bossa nova vibe and the lyrical confession that opens with the line “I don’t know if I’m gay or not.” Once again the lyrics wrestle with substance while the music brings you along effortlessly. The production is so cool and flows beautifully.
The biggest surprise for me was the title track, “Racing Hearts.” This is a down-and-out scorned woman country-rock song. Lynn kills the vocals and is simply badass. Baker’s production is big but doesn’t drown out Lynn’s vocals (or attempt to hide the vocals). The song shows there are many paths forward for this band. Fans should be excited about what lies ahead. For now, let’s just hope the band tours soon and we get to enjoy these new songs live.