The layered dynamics of Wild Manes’ single “Northern Wind” lend its spare but exquisite melody a musical depth and impact that isn’t immediately obvious until you’re listening through again. The three part harmonies, the guitar parts that work more like accents on the rhythm, the solid and fluid bass line that seems to anchor the song all work perfectly together to make the subject of the song seem not as heavy and not as potentially dark as it seems to be. A reference to a “King of birds” and feeling left hanging but dependent, the only reliable thing being that uncertainty and maybe a little bit of pain. It is fairly enigmatic in its meaning but suggests the kinds of emotional abuse people live with unspoken for years until they figure out a way to get free of that association. The music is upbeat if melancholy like putting on your best face even as you’re hurting and casts a fascinating thematic contrast not common enough in modern indie pop. Listen to “Northern Wind” on Spotify, connect with Wild Manes at the links below and look for the NYC-based sextet’s new EP due out later in 2020.