After spending seven years traveling, Vincent Gerard returned to the Grand Est region of France in 2019 — formerly known as Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine — and reconnected with his childhood friends Etienne “Bob” Blanchard and Martin “CHE” Chevrier and started the French indie rock act Wildation.
Deriving their name from what they believe is a utopian balance of nature and civilization, the band’s work is inspired by Gerard’s experiences traveling — and the observations and feelings that he frequented jotted down in his journals. With their debut EP First Seeds, the band quickly established their thematic concerns with material that touched upon humanity’s constant development and its impact on nature, confronting your fears and getting out of your comfort zone and the essential things in life.
Released earlier this year, the French band’s latest single “Blow Your Mind” is a bold and decided change in sonic direction: First Seeds found the band playing acoustic indie rock in the vein of Love Is Here-era Starsailor, while “Blow Your Mind” is a brooding arena rock friendly anthem centered featuring shimmering guitars, thunderous drumming, a rousingly anthemic hook paired with earnest yet ambitious songwriting and urgent performances. The end result is a song that sonically — to my ears, at least — that reminds me of Snow Patrol.