There are times when one, ok I, can be aware of artists, but never really sit down to listen to them. It’s one of the things I love about music, being surprised, getting the buzz. It reminds us all why we fell in love with music to start with.
Patrick Wolf is a clever fellow, the Londoner has taken all the things I love about music and put them in a little package called ‘Lupercalia’. Wolf cleverly uses classical instruments alongside electro beats and samples to produce catchy poptastic treats.
Starting with the lead single ‘The City’, your lugholes are taken and given a good wake up call. The track builds up to a memorable choral refrain. When other artists would be happy to include just string section, Wolf doesn’t, he uses a brass section instead, giving a eighties feel but totally contemporary. Add this to a dance beat and you’re on a winner.
The mood is upbeat on Lupercalia, if it was so named after a pagan purification, then Wolf is in a good place and isn’t afraid to show it. ‘House’ is a modern love song and when Wolf does use strings on the track, the arrangements are interesting and not there just as an added decoration but an integral part of his sound.
‘The Future’ is a little more delicate track than it’s predecessors, bass, piano and guitar combine with female backing vocals and timpani to make this special before the track builds up into an explosion of sound. Wolf possesses a fairytale elegance, which is evident on Armistice. It’s spacious, airy and minimal but sounds huge with a choir of harmonies.
A soft side is shown in Slow Motion, Wolf seems to lay his heart on the table to quite epic results. It’s a big ballad but it seems nothing is straightforward with Wolf. A vocal breakdown in the middle of the track lead to a very theatrical vibe, only to be joined by electronic computer games noises.
The geek in me smiles each time an instrument noise is heard alongside their electric companions. Production on the record is exquisite, mixed beautiful. his arrangements of traditional instruments with contemporary technologies are quite eargasmic.
Wolf has shown himself to be quirky, adventurous, an amazing song writer and singer and possesses an amazing voice. I officially apologize, Patrick Wolf, I’m sorry, where have you been all my life?