Ben Cain preforms with his band Wild Things at a show at Buffalo RiverWorks in Buffalo, New York on Sep. 12. Credit: Courtesy of Jim Conners

For Ben Cain, a fourth-year in journalism, it was his love of writing that first led him to music.

The music Cain wrote when he began playing in eighth grade was sad, something he said he thinks is common for young, hormonal teens. Now, Cain has shifted toward an upbeat indie-pop sound that he hopes will connect with audiences.

“I want to feel good and I want to play on things that everyone can relate to,” he said. “I want to play on what unites us as people and create that transcendental feeling.”

Part of this shift was a response to playing live with a band.

“When you write this depressing music it’s really easy to do that when you’re by yourself in a room,” Cain said, “but then when you go to play it in front of a crowd of people, they might not wanna do that. They came to a rock show, they want to have fun, it’s their weekend. And there’s merit to that.”

Cain’s band, Wild Things, has only been together since 2015, but has already opened for some of Cain’s biggest influences, such as New Politics and Foster The People. Its newest single, “Don’t Wanna Feel It,” is currently playing on the SiriusXM Hits1 radio station.    

Although Cain now lives in Columbus, the rest of Wild Things is based in Cain’s hometown of Buffalo, New York.

This can pose some challenges for the band — limited time with each other and a writing process that often consists of sending material back and forth — but ultimately, Wild Things makes it work.  

“We have the right tools in place,” said drummer Jeff Crawford, who has been playing with Cain for about seven years.  “We have a good method to our madness and we’re doing the right things at the right times and I do feel proud of the music we write.”

After graduation, Cain said he hopes to take time to tour with Wild Things, pursue music professionally and “see where things go.”

Wild Things plans to put out a four-song EP this summer, which will be the band’s second studio release.

Editor’s note: Ben Cain previously wrote for The Lantern as part of his journalism curriculum.