On My Playlist: Top 5 Southern Wild songs

Southern Wild is one of the best acts on the local music scene at the moment with their honest, raw approach to music. The songs are instrumentally brilliant and vocally creative with emotive lyrics completing the package.
This Cape Town quarter has given a great new injection into the local rock scene with their debut album Lead Role In A Classic Horror.
The band consists of David van Vuuren (singer/guitarist), MJ Breytenbach (lead guitarist), Alex Smillie (bassist) and Dylan Hunt (drums) who are all accomplished musos in their own right.
Honourable Mentions: ‘Darkness At My Heals’, ‘Feels Like The Ocean’ and ‘Dirt Horse’.
5. In a Classic Horror
This is one of the most potent songs from Southern Wild, lamenting the state of the world and its focus on negativity and feeling trapped. The track is an appeal to embrace yourself and focus on the aspect of life that you enjoy and do what you love. It begins with Van Vuuren’s vocals taking centre stage with acoustic guitar strumming (a-la John Mayer).
The sonic progression from a simple melody to a full-blown rock orchestra is one of the best parts. Southern Wild truly has a great ability to take a song and build it perfectly: MJ Breytenbach’s guitar riff is an aural pleasure and its ability to draw you in is absolutely spectacular. The guitar tone here is absolute bliss and will definitely stick in your head.

4. I’m So Happy I Could Die
This acoustic track truly pulls at your heartstrings and is one of most emotive songs that Southern Wild has composed. ‘Time has kept me blinded to what it means to be a kid and I feel like such a fool,’ is just a small taste of the lyrical quality of this track. ‘I’m so happy I could die, they say doing what you love is the reason you’re alive,’ is one of the best lyrical nuggets (and there are many) from Van Vuuren in Lead Role In A Classic Horror.
The song has a great rhythm to it and finishes off with an electric guitar solo and some pulsating drums from Hunt. This shift in sound is one of the hallmarks of the band and their soft to loud approach works brilliantly here.
3. Lead Role
‘When was the last time you felt real for a minute?’ sings Van Vuuren to open this incredible track as the acoustic guitar undertones progress to a lead guitar riff that will have you humming along to the melody. The ‘ba-da-ba-pa-da’ vocals in the chorus that mimic the main guitar riff give the song a happy undertone and you feel you can listen to it while riding into the sunset on an open highway.
A superb track that showcases Southern Wild’s versatility.

2. Time Eraser
‘Time Eraser’ has a slower feel and has a few blues and jazz notes to it as Southern Wild showcases their versatility. Frontman, Van Vuuren, shines in the opening verse and his crooning vocals work perfectly with a sound close to what Kings of Leon could produce.
The song really gets you in the mood to just chill and appreciate the incredible musicianship: Smillie’s bass undertones, Van Vuuren’s golden voice, Breytenbach’s wailing guitar and Hunt’s drumming foundation.

1. The People
To me, this is the best song in Southern Wild’s catalogue and must be listened together with the intro track on the album, Lead Role In A Classic Horror to understand its complexity. That intro is probably one of the best build-up instrumentals I have ever heard. Some glorious drumming and lead guitar work sets the platform here before the song kicks off with the main lead guitar riff from MJ Breytenbach.
This song is the fastest on the album and the pace works perfectly to set up a fluid sound. The opening verse is filled with a groovy bass riff from Smillie and velvet vocals from Dave van Vuuren.
The song kicks into overdrive in the chorus as the entire band gets involved in this terrific track. What I like most is the layered approach, with every instrument getting its time to shine. Another of my favourite parts is the pre-chorus interlude after the second verse when Van Vuuren sings ‘and now you’re leading’, complete with a short guitar solo that is truly atmospheric in nature.
This is Southern Wild at its glorious and instrumental best as the outro riff has a truly old-school rock and roll feel, complete with a shredding solo.

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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