Wild Fire are increasingly becoming one of my favorite duos, of any genre. The Houston, Texas sister team is back with their infectious “Seventeen”. Proving that sisterhood does mean better harmonies, and that their bond is almost felt when they sing those notes – “Seventeen” is anything but immature. Giving off a multitude of country vibes, all of which are intermixed into pop rock packaging, the young duo take the listener by the hand and never let go. “Seventeen” is about discovery, about learning the ropes and it’s also about looking in the mirror and liking what you see. No matter what.
The guitar strings, wrestling their way through a circular energy orb that is the young women’s voices. At first listen, I thought the guitar was chunky, almost tearing into riffs like ripping a paper. I soon settled onto the idea of the guitar tones to be like the ocean tide. The guitar looks like it’s just hitting remnants of the beachline, but by the day’s end, the erosion is clear. It’s a slow build. “Seventeen” doesn’t have a substantial amount of percussion, rather, the grooves and the beat is nestled between the voices (and that relentless guitar). I felt a strong light, an immersion of sun and warmth throughout the song.
Dolly Parton would be proud of the Wild Fire harmonies. Siblings Kayla and Kelli Iutzwig dabble in just the right amount of Red Dirt vocals with their larger than life melodies. They sing like the world is listening – like they’ve been doing this since they could talk. I can’t be certain, but this song also proved to me that they know how to translate that life experience into the studio. I think years of performing in front of crowds of all sizes has served them well in the studio. And vice versa. “Seventeen” is dripping with personality, and the Iutzwig’s can gregariously charm the living daylights out of anyone. They possess some sort of conversion factor – a eureka moment midway through “Seventeen” that makes you keep listening. This song has a lot of vibrancy, a lot of moxie.
It’s also universally real. I don’t think it matters that females are singing about the catch all’s of being a 17-year-old. That crosses boundaries, and frankly, if you are far removed from being that age on either side of the coin, there is fondness or there is trepidation. Or there is excitement. I think Wild Fire harnesses all those feelings in this little ditty. The cool thing, too, is that if you’re well beyond 17, it centers you. It’s both reminiscent and a good chance to reflect on just how far in life you’ve come. I love songs like this that bring you to another space, another time. It’s cutesy at first, hearing these two young voices meander around the pitfalls of being a teenager, but when it comes down to it, they are quite right and quite wise in how they think. More importantly, how their art reflects the times and their personal experiences.