The former Kansas City-based band The Wild Type has recently released a new EP titled Thank You, Stranger. And for the group, the title is particularly meaningful. Before the pandemic, The Wild Type had been planning a full-length album, when those plans were delayed and derailed. But frontwoman Rachel Mallin, who is now living in Austin, still wanted these songs to see the light. So as a collection of songs from that unfinished album, The Wild Type is releasing Thank You, Stranger as a goodbye to fans.
“The relationship between these songs and the parting of The Wild Type rest on the common theme of being productive with your grief and finding closure in the wake of losing something so deeply entangled with how you identify yourself,” Mallin said. “The bond I had with the band felt like something worth memorializing, and the last songs we wrote and played were some of the coolest and most creative tracks we’d ever worked on. It felt wrong to bury ‘em.”
And the four-track project is a strong parting note. “Closet Anthem” kicks off Thank You, Stranger, a synth-pop rock celebration of queerness. In an interview with Lola Zine, Mallin said, “For a good chunk of my early 20’s, even after I came out of the closet to family and friends, I was very much still in the closet when it came to the songs I wrote. Lyrically, I would often lean into they/them pronouns in place of she/her, because I prioritized the accessibility of my songs over expressing my authentic self and ambiguity was an easy way for me to hide that insecurity. I’d like to think, in some small way, this song is an act of rebellion against that version of me. Closet Anthem was very much inspired by my first *out* relationship to the world. However, setting the scene for the rest of the EP, it turns a bit darker in the second half, foreshadowing the inevitable conclusion of it. I love this song, though. It was the first tune I wrote and recorded, beginning to end, that I still enjoy listening to after two and a half years.”
“Brand New Face,” is a layered and anthemic break up song, leaning into indie pop guitar licks. “Easy,” then, is a slower and soft groove, considering the concept of love as choice. “Hallways,” too, droning and dreamy, taking a darker turn within the project. Listen below.