Wild Knights marks the long-awaited return of Aqueduct, coming eight years after a run with Barsuk in the mid-aughts that led to performances with theFlaming Lips, the Apples in Stereo, and Modest Mouse and at festivals including Lollapalooza andSasquatch. Since 2007’s Or Give Me Death, bedroom-pop mastermind David Terry has embarked on an emotional journey. Wild Knights is his sonic diary - the story of an artist succumbing to his own stresses, fractured by self-isolation and mental anguish as he battles his own wild knights on his way to emerging with a stronger and more dynamic voice.
The anxiety of the journey that Wild Knights encapsulates is palpable from the rapid heartbeat bass and ominous synthesizer of opener “The Petrified Forest,” in which Terrysings, “I’m gonna run through the jungle with my head in a bag.” Terry warns on “Loose Molars” that “it would take a miracle for me to not let you down," but Aqueduct’s stunning return to form on this LP is no letdown for anyone with a taste for thoughtful, catchy bedroom-pop. The album ends with an invitation: “Wrestle your demons, let’s waste a whole afternoon.” It’s seldom that demon-wrestling sounds as good as it does on Wild Knights.