Breaking: Wild Light

March 4, 2009 1:46 PM ET

Who: New Hampshire indie rockers Wild Light, a group of guitar-slinging romantics whose debut album sparked a bidding war after the band impressed as the opening act at Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem gigs.

Sounds Like: The band's debut album Adult Nights is an ambitious, sweeping disc of triumphant hooks and grand, sweet-and-sour tunes that recall early Death Cab for Cutie or U2, if they were fronted by Conor Oberst. Anthemic jams like "Canyon City" and first single "California on My Mind" are standouts; the latter features sing-along lyrics like "Fuck today, fuck San Francisco, fuck California."

Vital Stats:

• Despite being their mid-20s, multi-instrumentalists/singers Jordan Alexander and Timothy Kyle have been recording together for nearly two decades. They first collaborated in the fourth grade, when they recorded an album on a toy tape deck using the band name Grandma's Diapers. "We could complete an entire quote-unquote album in just a couple hours," Alexander jokes.

• In college, Kyle befriended the Arcade Fire's Win Butler and was even a member of an early incarnation of that band before transferring to a college out of Montreal. "I learned a lot from watching Win — he was the most committed person I knew to the lifestyle of being an artist and that idea of really forcing yourself to finish songs," Kyle said.

• Wild Light aren't afraid to take risks with their music. "Nowadays, the whole modus operandi of indie rock involves not doing anything you might be embarrassed of — to write songs that are safe and unimpeachably smart but spiritless," Kyle says. "People are so afraid of falling flat they never go for the big thing."

Hear It Now: Wild Light's Adult Nights just hit stores and digital music services yesterday. Kyle and Alexander recently came into the Rolling Stone studios to perform acoustic renditions of their "California on My Mind" and "Surf Generation."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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