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Wild Child

End of the World, the new album from acclaimed Austin songwriting duo Wild Child (Kelsey
Wilson and Alexander Beggins) wasn’t supposed to happen. In 2018, Wilson joined the
singer-songwriter super group Glorietta, and debuted her critically acclaimed genre-bending,
Motown-influenced solo project Sir Woman. Meanwhile, Beggins unveiled his musical alter-ego,
CoCo Zandi, with the release of his first solo album, As Simple as a Dream. Then in 2019, after
more than a decade of non-stop touring, the indie band, which was unexpectedly conceived in
the back seat of someone else's tour van, stopped booking or playing shows altogether.
Exploring different sonic directions, Wilson and Beggins didn't know if they would ever make
another Wild Child record, until, well, what felt like the "end of the world" hit Austin, and brought
them back together. Pandemic lockdowns closed stages and drained bank accounts. In Austin,
the ‘Live Music Capital of the World,’ local bands took their shows online. Wild Child was no
different. With an unexpected abundance of free time on their hands, Wilson and Beggins got
together to practice for a series of online performances for devout fans. Within 30 minutes of
rejoining forces, they’d written the first single for what would accidentally become Wild Child's
fifth album.
"Photographs" is a soulful, brass-filled outing that “offers something familiar for Wild Child fans
who have stuck with them over the years," Wilson says. “‘Photographs’ was inspired by a
picture of my dad, Buddy Wilson, who passed away in February. And in a way, it's a tribute to
old Wild Child songs. A bittersweet story, a ukulele and both of us singing. It's a special gift to
Wild Child fans." Beggins adds, "It felt like our very first record, when the two of us wrote a
bunch of songs while on tour for someone else. There wasn't any aim to do anything with those
songs at the beginning. For the first time since then, that's how we started writing these songs.
We didn't know if we would make another record. It just came together.”
And it couldn't have happened at a more difficult time. Take Day 3 of the 2021 Texas Big Freeze
for instance, when 13 displaced Austin pals had taken refuge at Wilson's house. There was no
electricity, no indoor plumbing, and no end in sight. When Wilson couldn't possibly take it
anymore, one of the fateful 13, singer-songwriter John Calvin Abney, ripped a 90s-alternative riff
on an acoustic guitar that would eventually turn into the album's title track. "I just started singing
about things that were freaking me out. Wearing a mask for a year. Global warming. There's no
heat, no water,” explains Wilson. “It was like a dirge to begin with. But by the end we were all
screaming and laughing that, yes, this might be the end of the world, but we're all together right
now, making music in my living room by candlelight. It's all okay."
The next morning during a lull in the storm, the Wild Child caravan — complete with drummer
and guitarist Tom Meyers, guitarist Cody Ackors, and bassist and piano player Taylor Craft (Sir
Woman) — braved icy roads to recording engineer Matt Pence's The Echo Lab studios outside
Denton, Texas. They didn't even stop to shower before recording an unwashed rendition of "End
of the World," flush with in-the-moment angst. "There's no ukulele. I'm singing differently than I
ever have before. You can hear my voice crack, and all the energy behind everyone playing,"
Wilson said. "That set the tone. There were no boundaries. We're back to how it was on Day
One. We were making this music because we really needed to make it for ourselves."

Abney tagged along, and in the process became the first songwriter to collaborate with Beggins
and Wilson on a Wild Child album. His contributions to Beggins and Wilson's songwriting
process came as an unexpected blessing amid so much impending doom. "John was dating
one of Kelsey's roommates when we met. The first time we played together, we just fell in love
with each other," Beggins says. "When you have a musical partnership, like Kelsey and I have
had for a decade, it's strange to change the formula of writing. But we found someone we both
trust and like working with."
"Wearing Blue" started with a guitar riff Abney played before an early recording session. "While
everyone was setting up their instruments, John Calvin started playing and singing. In 30
minutes, a song was written. That was a holy-shit moment. And it set the tone of the record,"
Wilson shares.
The Wild Child family is also excited to announce the birth of Reba’s Ranch Records, a
long-time vision of creating their own record label imprint to highlight some of the amazing music
coming out of Austin, TX. The label was born after years of conversations within the band about
the importance of controlling one’s own destiny and art. The imprint will be home to the Wild
Child catalog, as well as Kelsey’s Sir Woman and Alexander's CoCo Zandi recordings, and is a
partnership with Secretly Distribution.
‘End of the World’ was mixed by Matt Pence (Jason Isbell, Elle King) and includes guitarist
Charlie Wiles (Paul Cauthen, John Moreland, Orville Peck).

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