Listening to Matt Kivel is like dwelling on a memory. The story that got to this final product may be more enriching than the album itself, but Days of Being Wild is a charming pop album that seeks to find the love of the listener. The breezy demeanor of “Underwater” caters to that love affair with that summer evening as the world easily becomes a part of your psyche. Then there are songs like “A Couple Hours” that act like driftwood that leads to “Twins,” which is only a transition to “Insignificance,” one of the more poignant songs on the album. This acts as an unofficial end to a part of this album that defines what Kivel strives to complete on Days of Being Wild.
*Act Two* gives us “Little Girls” and that Yo La Tengo contemplation with “Open Road” amping up the sound, which leads me to the backstory. The album was recorded over the summer of 2013 at his friend Brian Cosgrove’s Los Angeles house. Cosgrove’s pad served as a punk house for bands. In the back stood a detached shed where band’s could rehearse. Kivel used it as his refuge, sometimes recording intimate acoustic ramblings like his was on the foothills of infinity, while other times like “Open Road,” he added some oomph to his poplike demeanor.
Not so much wild as they are legitimately cool, Kivel keeps his freewheeling youth at bay, and the lo fi title track proves that he never did let his youth go to waste, as lo fi as that feels. The falsetto acting like a mirage in the mirror of adolescence. The album and everything that surrounds it feels like a relaxed oxymoron.
Take a stroll, sit under a tree, and enjoy the sounds Kivel churns because despite chaos, Kivel’s emotions are kept at a level that may not seem lethargic, but they could be borderline.