I think Wild Beasts are kind of ridiculous and kind of wonderful, and this is their best song/best video by a long shot. What’s funny is that youtube shows their evolution - they were a terrible skiffle band, too verbal and pleased with themselves on their debut, but now they have a good thing going with the push pull of songs that need 1) the guy that sings like Antony/Jeff Buckley/yelping and 2) the “heroic” guy, to quote Matthew Fluxblog. They could still use someone to read their lyrics and say “no,” however.
Other bands that I alternately swoon over/get embarrassed by and who had a similar trajectory in some ways (but more from folk to proggy): Shearwater. (Or as my boyfriend calls them, “PURE RAIN.”) But bands like these two need a song like “All the Kings Men,” a song both pathetic and lusty.
(When I saw them live, I was surprised that “Watch me! Watch me!” was also sung by Guy #2. I had totally thought it was the eunuch.)
What’s funny about Shearwater, and why I don’t always adore them, is that the sheer, over-the-top, etherealness of Jonathan Meiburg’s voice, in my opinion, was absolutely vital to the charms of Okkervil River, since he’d balance out Will Sheff’s evocative yet bruised and way less pretty croak.