After a long period of gestation, writing and recording, rising Melbourne indie-folk outfit Brighter Later's stunning debut album, The Wolves, is here.
A quietly remarkable debut, The Wolves combines elements of psych-folk, dream pop, lo-fi-indie and alt-country into a whole that's less an album than a world of its own.
The Wolves' story begins when writer, songwriter and radio producer Jaye Kranz spent some time in New Orleans and began playing music again. Eventually, she returned to her native Australia, and started writing songs –– songs that, with the help of collaborator Virginia Bott, would eventually become The Wolves.
To record The Wolves, Brighter Later took the DIY approach and set up in Kranz's home, an old church in Melbourne's west, with minimal gear and volumes of natural reverb. The decision to self-produce set Kranz on a steep learning curve, but ultimately allowed her to follow her intuition in bringing the songs to life, free of pre-meditated ideas about how the album would sound. Being a novice producer, 'one of the advantages was not even having a rule book to throw out,' Kranz says.
First single 'The Woods' was widely praised. A track of ‘slow-burn[ing] majesty' (Mess+Noise), ‘The Woods', like every track on the album, is ‘music you can imagine to' (Indie Shuffle). In it, reviewers found a ‘lost track from the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack' (Your Music Radar); ‘a quiet intimacy found only in the early hours of the morning' (Aesthetes Anonymous); a ‘dreamy, wistful and deep' sound that Beach House ‘would be proud of' (Indie Shuffle).
Second single ‘Come and Go' brims with elegant melody, swinging from aching, unhurried pastoralia to rousing, hazy swoon. ‘All the Great Lakes' is Brighter Later at their most epic, Kranz's silvery voice emerging above a bed of gauzy harmonies, synths and reverbed guitar to gently devastating effect, ‘like a hymn summoned dimly from a dream' (Doug Wallen, Mess+Noise). Other songs deliberately shed their layers, revealing that at the heart of this record is a set of finely crafted, lucent songs that sound more like they're reaching for something, rather than trying to sound like something.
Mixed by Andy Stewart (Gotye, Paul Kelly, CW Stoneking), The Wolves features contributions from Alex Landgragin, along with guest turns by Pony Face's Simon Bailey, ARIA-winning producer Shane O'Mara, Cameron Potts (Cuba is Japan, Ninetynine) and engineer Casey Rice (Dirty Three).
The ten spellbinding tracks recall certain music antecedents - the breathy spell of early Cat Power, the haunting, narcotic beauty of Low - while sounding only like themselves. On The Wolves, Brighter Later have created a sound that is entirely their own - one that's all the more haunting for appearing, more or less, out of the great black night.
The Sydney Morning Herald praised the album's 'overwhelming organic beauty', while the Weekly Review dubbed it 'simply stunning'.
released 08 March 2013
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