Review: Wolf Lords

wolf lordsss

By Kristine Volovsek

Although I had heard a few of the songs already on the radio, for unknown reasons it took me a long time to get around to listening to Wolf Lords in its entirety – almost two months after it was released. It just wasn’t the right time for me to listen to it. However, getting tasked with this review ended up being just what I needed to help me get through a tough time. The universe works in mysterious ways like that. I firmly believe that music can help heal, and I continue to gravitate toward Wolf Lords with every listen.

Over the years, Aby Wolf has proven that her voice is very versatile. In Wolf Lords, she teams up with producer Grant Cutler for her first foray into vocal processing. Laden with what Aby has described as “washy synthy beats,” this electro-pop album not only floats you into the depths of dreams but also brings the listener to familiar places around Minneapolis. Wherever it takes you, the soothing ambient sounds of Wolf Lords makes one soar. This album is perfect for both a stroll in the sun or for chilling inside on a rainy day.

What thoroughly impressed me right away was the crystal-clarity of Aby Wolf’s voice and her impeccably immaculate enunciation. You can tell that there is intention behind every syllable and sound on Wolf Lords. I’m generally annoyed when I hear auto-tuning, but the vocal processing used in this album gives Aby’s voice a sultrier feel and makes it cohesive with Wolf Lords’ inherent synthy-ness. This album also embodies hypnotically beautiful harmonies throughout.

“Brave Boy” really stands out on this album not only because of its musical value but because of its story. “Essentially, the lyrics are giving props to those who do their good work in the world no matter what they’re going through” said Aby in an in-studio interview with The Current. This song is a “high five” to Daniel Levy, a dear friend and “nephew” of Aby’s, who struggled with mental illness and passed away about a year ago. I was sent these tracks just a few days before I found out a friend of mine had passed in a similarly premeditated way. This added an entirely new dimension to “Brave Boy” for me and, as I listened to the song on repeat for a while, helped foster a much needed semi-catharsis. You can check out the video for this song here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_0vDmT76o8. It’s a super awesome 80’s-esque, existentially-psychedelic trip.

If I had to describe Wolf Lords in one word it’d be beauty, and not necessarily the surface kind. Don’t get me wrong, Aby Wolf is definitely gorgeous, but when listening to this album one feels a lasting sense of her inner beauty. Though she is currently touring out east with Dessa (if you happen to be out there, definitely seek them out!), I’d love to see her perform live when she returns to Minneapolis.

Hear for yourself what Wolf Lords is all about right here http://abywolf.bandcamp.com/

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