Reviewed by: Julia Cirignano
Telisha and Doug Williams released their debut album Things That Used to Shine in 2013. Now, accompanied by Megan Jane and Fats Kaplin, the duo has released their sophomore album Radiant. Wild Ponies is exploding with new sounds. Radiant pushes the limits that were set by their first album and expresses all aspects of their band name by encapsulates both the calm and the chaos of wild ponies — the quiet passion of a quivering filly, and the snorting attitude of a wise mare.
Wild Ponies kicks off Radiant with a high tempo rock/country tune called “Born With A Broken Heart”. From there, the album takes many twists and turns. Telisha Williams gallops through songs such as “Unplug The Machine”, expressing attitude and sass underlined by a steady rock beat and a rhyme scheme that is hard not to love. Wild Ponies also pushes the limits lyrically with lines such as, “Chick-fil-A/Gotta pray the gay away/Pussy riot locked up in a prison cell”, and “CNN Quaaludes/Fox News/Richard Jewell”. These controversial lyrics are surprising and refreshing especially against the backdrop of traditional country music.
Wild Ponies set the rules, then break them — running away from the law to live off the land with wild ponies, and then running back to claim lost love, and stir up trouble once again with “Graveyard Train”. During this track, the electric guitar and fiddle battle to be the star — causing a glorious riot behind the driving force of the the steady bass drum. Radiant also would not be complete without their song of lost love titled “The Night We Never Met”. During this track, the instruments are just soft enough to hear the slight twang in Telisha’s voice, and the cracks of pain in every line.
It’s clear that Wild Ponies have a lot to say, and a beautiful way of saying it. There is conflict heard throughout the album, but the band comes to some sort of resolution with the last track “Love Is Not A Sin”. During this song, both voices are heard complimenting each other through the use of harmony and natural chemistry. Telisha’s voice pulls at your heartstrings with it’s delicate twang, then gallops away laughing with the giggle of a fiddle. Radiant spans from country, to rock — mixing traditional music with edgier lyrics. Radiant shows both the highs and low of being a wild pony, and also being a mere human being.