Wild Child to play at Crawfest

Laura Rostad

Indie folk band Wild Child will play at Crawfest from 2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday on the Gapsa Stage. This won’t be the band’s first time in New Orleans; Wild Child has played at The Howlin’ Wolf on South Peters Street several times before.

“New Orleans has such a strong music scene already, so as an outsider, it’s a hard town to pull a local crowd in,” violinist Kelsey Wilson said. “There’s so much good music already happening all the time, so it’s an intimidating town, but it’s always a blast.”

Wilson and ukulele player Alexander Beggins met in 2009 while touring with Danish band The Migrant. The musicians were surprised at how quickly and naturally they were able to write songs together. Shortly after, the two decided to go to work together on an album and called on drummer Carey McGraw and cellist Sadie Wolfe to complete their sound. The band’s debut album, “Pillow Talk,” won positive reviews following its 2011 release. Wild Child started touring in support of the album, but soon realized that it needed to adjust its vibe for live performances.

“When playing ukulele love songs, you can’t do too well in a loud bar,” Wilson said. “It doesn’t translate well.”

In order to make its sound more suitable for live performances, Wild Child added keyboard player Evan Magers and electric bassist Chris D’Annunzio. “Pillow Talk” is an acoustic album, honing in on Wilson’s violin and Beggin’s ukulele, combined with sweet, conversational vocals. While the group holds on to its folk and indie roots, there’s no single recipe for a Wild Child song. Wilson and Beggins take turns singing lead but also put their voices together to create organic harmonies. They seamlessly weave in and out of choruses and verses that perfectly balance the band’s light acoustics.

“Alexander and I figure out how we feel by writing songs together,” Wilson said. Wilson said that her greatest influences include past relationships and romances. She conveys this through lyrics in songs such as “Winter Pockets,” “Someone Else” and “I’ll Figure You Out.”

Wild Child’s sophomore album, “The Runaround,” sounds more full-fleshed than its first album, but the simplistic and genuine harmony exuded in “Pillow Talk” still carries over. “The Runaround” boasts the band’s adaptability and a capability to expand on its instinctive sound. Wilson said she has the most exciting job in the world because she’s able to make people happy with her music.

“I don’t feel like a song is ever done until we play it in front of a crowd and see what it feels like,” Wilson said. “Getting that live feedback from people and seeing people smile and dance and sing along are the most amazing things ever.”