Premiere: William Wild Haunts on the Intimate & Immediate “Rental House” off New Album ‘Push Ups’

William Wild’s haunting “Rental House” is a transformative intimate journey back into ourselves – one that explores, through glistening music and aching poetry, who we are and how we came to be.
Stream: “Rental House” – William Wild

We don’t always understand how or why we’re responding to things in certain ways as children. Sometimes, the way we act is informed far more by our subconscious, and though we may not be cognizant of those reasons at the time, as get age and grow we have the chance to see our early years with more clarity for what they were, and why there were. William Wild’s haunting “Rental House” is a transformative intimate journey back into ourselves – one that explores, through glistening music and aching poetry, who we are and how we came to be.

Push Ups - William Wild
Push Ups – William Wild
So much for the day,
So long little bird,
Did you keep your conscience clean on me?
Or was it just a game?
A little part that you could play so wonderfully
I know.
Set me on the fire.
Won’t you see me like you said you would?
In the beginning. In the beginning.

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Rental House,” the sophomore single off William Wild’s forthcoming major label debut Push Ups (out March 20, 2020 via Sony Masterworks). The moniker for Knoxville, Tennessee-based artist Garrett Sale, William Wild independently released his self-titled debut album in 2014 and has been actively exploring the intersection of folk, rock, “indie”,  and alternative music ever since. Push Ups, his sophomore full-length, finds the artist more at home in the studio and taking fuller advantage of its sundry tools to produce a sound that is as classically timeless as it is of the present day. The album’s singles “All My Life,” “Rental House,” and “Holy Ghost (where did my life go?”) evoke a mix of soundalikes as eclectic as Father John Misty, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Paul McCartney – but if the artist can claim any sort of ownership over his sound, it comes through in reverb-drenched guitars and the silken, hauntingly gorgeous vocals that soar throughout every song.

William Wild © Dillon Matthew
William Wild © Dillon Matthew

“Rental House” is an especially beautiful offering, showcasing William Wild’s stunning vocals through breathtakingly poetic imagery and visuals.

It is quintessential Push Ups material, finding the artist sinking into himself and his layered yet impressively spacious and inviting tapestry of sound. “‘Rental House’ is the first song I made for the record, and the lyrics pretty much came in one take,” William Wild tells Atwood Magazine. “When I was about 12, my parents got divorced and my dad remarried almost immediately. He was living in this rental house my family had owned since I was a kid, he had ran his business out of that house my whole life and we used to go over there after school or after work hours. All of a sudden, that was his home and he was living there with this new woman. I quickly began to hate that place. It smelled weird, was dimly lit, and was now occupied by this scary woman who apparently felt compelled to act like my mom and tell me she loved me all the time. My brothers and I had some weird experiences over there. For many years I resented that place and those experiences, but after a while I guess I began to understand that everyone involved in that scenario was just trying to find their way. I had been thinking about that era for a few weeks and one day I pretty much just sang those lyrics in one go.”

William Wild continues, “For the video, we wanted to create a similar type of journey but in a more surrealistic way. When I think back on some of those life experiences they seem much more chaotic and psychedelic in hindsight. There were moments of purity and joy, and there were moments of complete chaos. When you’re in it, especially as a kid, we are just basically doing…not necessarily asking questions or analyzing what’s going on. I think this kind of naive “participation” gives those experiences more power to form you.”

Rental House William Wild 1
“Rental House” William Wild video still

The song’s sparse lyrics allow for much in the way of interpretation and reinvention: “So much for the day, so long little bird, did you keep your conscience clean on me?” the artist cries, “Or was it just a game? A little part that you could play so wonderfully; I know. Set me on the fire.” “Rental House” is as much Garrett Sale’s introspective moment of self-discovery as it is one for all listeners willing to go down that rabbit hole of vulnerability, with the prospect of something old and something new waiting on the other end.

For some, a song like “Rental House” feels shrouded in mystery: The track is both ever-present and nowhere all at once, its lyrics vague to the naked eye and its story one that feels so personal it’s nearly unbreakable. Yet that’s the beauty, and the magic, of William Wild’s creation: “Rental House” demands multiple listens, each one allowing us to experience this music a little more intimately until we, like the author himself, feel an ownership to the music that so boldly and viscerally connects to the soul.

William Wild is, without a doubt, an artist you need to know in 2020. His music is refreshing, and his sound is nothing short of magnificent. Stream “Rental House” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and be sure to listen to his forthcoming album Push Ups upon its release next week, March 20, 2020!

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Stream: “Rental House” – William Wild

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Push Ups - William Wild

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