Kayla and Kelli Iutzwig will be around for a long time. Their few forays into the music world under the moniker Wild Fire peak with their latest single release “Damaged (But We Still Work)”. Though the track is a well-conceived slice of pop bliss, it opens with a stately gait highlighted by the lead guitar. There’s a melodic bent to the duo’s music obvious from the first that reinforces their core strengths. The true foundation of this track and performance, however, is the willingness these two outstanding young performers and songwriters show for making themselves vulnerable and shaping that vulnerability in such a way it resonates with a wide audience.
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“Damaged” tackles head-on the issue of how many of us struggle with maintaining love for self in a world where we are bombarded with mass media images of beauty and worth. We see celebrities paraded over social media and their presentation prods us to follow their example with often unhappy emotional results. The lyrics for this song depict that experience in very personal fashion. Wild Fire’s lyrical talents pare everything down to the essence of the experience and come at the listener from a first person point of view. This level of intimacy is a hallmark and marquee strength of their work.
Many will be taken with the song’s guitar work. It isn’t outsized or self-indulgent and underlines the inherent melodic qualities of the song. You’ll hear no solos in this song, but it isn’t a song that needs such adornments. Instead, the guitar presence during this song looks to reinforce compositional strengths rather than calling attention to the player’s skill set. Some may wonder if the drumming is driven by a human player behind the kit or electronic, but if it is the latter, Wild Fire and their collaborators have done an exceptional job providing the track with a memorable drum sound.
The vocals are, arguably, the focal point of this performance. There are harmony vocals during this track, but the dominant force is lead vocal that does a fantastic job of embodying the emotion percolating throughout the song. The duo never overplays their hand as singers and move through the duration of “Damaged” with a surehanded grace far beyond their years. It’s impressive and, moreover, inspiring to hear.
These young women have come a long way since their parents first recognized their blossoming talents at age six and began to first put them in a position to succeed. They learned vocal techniques studying under renowned coach Pamela Moore and versed themselves on instruments such as guitar and drums. They followed that with appearances in theatrical productions and similar outings before emerging to the public at large. They’ve done things the right way and it is paying off for them. There’s little question listening to “Damaged (But We Still Work)” that Wilf Fire will achieve widespread prominence and possess the necessary staying power to continue touching and wowing audiences for years to come. We need acts such as this more than ever before.