Bursting out of the silence with a rollicking, somewhat rock-flavored beat, we find the opening chords of Wild Fire’s “Rolling With the Stones” ready to captivate anyone who is within earshot of the growing harmony. There aren’t any synthesized chills pouring into the air, nor do we have to contend with any of the fake melodic trappings of a faux country-pop jam here; we’ve got strings, a beat, a mild bassline and vocals from Wild Fire that could melt ice on even the coldest of winter days. They’re playing for keeps in this track, and though it can be said that they’ve shown plenty of professional moxie inside of the studio in the last few years, this is probably their most mature and complete look to date.
“Rolling With the Stones” is hook-driven, but I don’t think its best moments come in the chorus. Contrarily, there’s a lot to take away from the buildup to the hook here – I would make the argument that Wild Fire do their best harmonizing when they’re working against the grain of a patterned groove, which is essentially how they set up our foray into the chorus of this single. We aren’t being led by the beat as much as we are the whim of their melodies, which despite being more common among British pop singers and R&B artists doesn’t sound all that out of place in a country crossover tune like this one. Wild Fire know how to make it work, which isn’t always the case with complicated material like theirs.
I don’t know that the guitar parts needed to be quite as loud and proud in the master mix as they are, but just the same, I do think that it shows us just how much melodic might these two singers can deal with while still occupying the lion’s share of the spotlight from one verse to the next. They never sound like they’re having to claw their way into the forefront of this track – they’re constantly on top of the backing band with a powerful, grand slam-style harmony that can blush as much as it can bruise (when they need it to). The lyrics are just as efficiently arranged, which begs the question which came first here – the words or the music? Either way, we’re reaping the rewards of this duo’s in-studio experimentation.
As we come to the conclusion of “Rolling With the Stones,” the fade away is limited; Wild Fire essentially stop on a dime, similarly to what an country track would call for (as opposed to something more theatrical, as is far more common in post-2000s pop music especially). When the dust clears and we’re able to process the song’s complete construction, and moreover, it’s most important elements, one thing is clear – these two young women are working with heavenly voices that need to be front and center in everything they record. Whether it be country, pop or whatever melodies come in-between, Wild Fire are a vocal pairing that belong in your summer playlist this year.
by Bethany Page