Album Review

Wolf People - Fain

Released April 30, 2013
Chad W. Lutz

From the opening chords of Wolf People's "Season Pt. 1" on their 2010 debut release, Tidings, I knew I was in love. Wolf People’s captivating and mystical mix of folk and classic rock creates something wholly familiar but entertainingly exciting and original.

On April 30, 2013, the band released its third full-length studio album, Fain. According to interviews on the official website of record label Jagjaguwar, the album draws influence from the dreams of lead singer Jack Sharp. The narrative looks inside of Sharp, melodically exposing all of his inner demons and insecurities. The interview also states that due to a less-than-popular view of himself, Sharp likes to draw influence for his songs from photographs of history. His northern England heritage often elicits serene and tranquil yet dismal and dreary imagery that lends to English and Scottish folk traditions of both culture and music.

Wolf People’s second album, Steeple, featured harder, thundering bass-driven sound than the folksy tunes of Tidings. Fain takes a step back, painting a very dreamlike landscape and mirroring the songs’ inspiration. The band continues to draw from hip-hop rhythms, fusing them with eastern-sounding melodies that soar and crash and elevate the human spirit, while Jack Sharp provides vocals entirely unique to any other modern rock act. There isn't a hint of pop in this band, but the tunes remain catchy all the same; Led Zeppelin would be proud.

Some standout tracks are "Thief" and "When the Fire is Dead in the Grate". Both songs examine deep insecurities and offer honest, raw lyricism. Their dagger edge of guitar, bass and drums in surreal, psychedelic settings will please both acid heads and casual rock listeners alike. As a British band, Wolf People is aware of its influences and has paid homage to predecessors like Pink Floyd with brilliant covers. Though young, Wolf People remains hungry, and Fain captures a band ready to take a bite out of pop music, one beautifully written ballad at a time.