Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Albi (singer/guitarist Chris Dent) and the Wolves (fiddle player Pascal Roggen, bassist Michael Young) won best folk artist in 2018 for their debut album One Eye Open and have come a long way musically since then.
Through their This is War (2019) and into this especially impressive and diverse third album they have constantly extended themselves.
They are folk Jim, but not always as we know it.
Take just the first three songs here: Next to Me is pop ballad with a light vocal offset by strident strings; All I Am a stomper with flighty fiddle which will go down a treat wherever the Irish or Scots gather and Heart on Fire heads into an antipodean style of Celtic country-rock.
By the final track – the gentle pop-country of Things Don't Always Go To Plan – they have taken you through an elegant and orchestrated lullaby ballad (Pitter Patter), some swaying country-soul with horns (A Little Time, which might have made a fine and engaging opener), more barroom pleasers (Underpass, the singalong Scoundrel Dog complete with howling), a lovely sentimental ballad (My Old Friend), the woozy jazzy High in Your Sigh (again with horns) . . .
This is not a new and improved Albi and the Wolves but rather a deepening and widening of what was always there.
They are touring this with an 11-piece band and should not be missed.
Mine's a Guinness, thanks.
You can hear and buy this album at bandcamp here
Albi and the Wolves' Light After Dark Tour
Galatos, Auckland, Nov 11
The Piano, Christchurch, Nov 24
Old St Paul's, Wellington, Nov 25