Austin’s Wild Child Introduces “Anna Maria”

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In a city known for its live music scene, Wild Child is leaving its mark on Austin. In March, they won two Austin Music Awards — for best indie act and best folk act. Yet on their upcoming album, The Runaround, they’re trading in the folk approach for something more … well, wild.

“With this record, we were trying to see how big we could get the bubble to be before it burst,” says Alexander Beggins, one of the band’s founding members.

Kelsey Wilson, another founding member, notes, “Drunk people don’t really like quiet music at a bar, and we had more fun playing our songs rowdier and faster and louder.”

CMT Edge is proud to premiere one of the new tracks, “Anna Maria,” from The Runaround, in advance of its Oct. 8 release. Beggins and Wilson, replying as a team, answered a few questions by email about the catchy track.

CMT Edge: “Anna Maria” seems to have a pretty interesting perspective. What was the story you were hoping to tell in the lyrics?

Wild Child: “Anna Maria” was our first attempt to write a story song. Most of our music is in the first person, and we sat down one day to specifically try something new. We wanted it to be relatable to situations and themes that we’ve experienced in our personal lives but through the perspective of two fictional characters, Anna Maria and her partner. Obviously, it is a song about cheating, but it’s not just one-sided. It’s what happens after the cheating has occurred and how the other person responds. Often people do stupid things in anger, and there are always consequences. We tried to explore those feelings.

Rather than one viewpoint in the song, do you feel like you are singing to each other, almost like a conversation set to music?

In some ways, yes. This song was fun for us to write because we are removed from the characters. My favorite song growing up was “Rocky Raccoon” by the Beatles. My dad used to sing it to me when I was a kid. I loved the storytelling. I latched on to certain lines in the storyline, and I’ve always wanted to create something similar to that. When we sing it, it feels like we are trading off lines in a storybook. Sharing someone else’s experience. One that people can relate to.

The arrangement is really laid-back and not at all intrusive. How did you settle on that approach to recording “Anna Maria”?

This was actually the first song we recorded in the studio and the song that we least prepared for. We wanted it to happen organically. We set up a few mics on the floor … and passed around a bottle of whiskey. We tracked it all in one take and then set it aside for a few weeks. Then we went back and just played with it until it felt right. We went through a million different variations. We are really happy the way it turned out. Especially the end … it was something we’ve never tried.

Enjoy the CMT Edge premiere of Wild Child’s “Anna Maria.”

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