Wolf & Moon
Wolf & Moon
While one camera may be enough to capture the great outdoors, the inner journey requires several refined instruments: guitars, a small but effective selection of synths, creative minds that can draw pictures with words and use their expressive voices to give fill them with life, and, of course, a master engineer to bring it all together. It is this combination that earned Wolf & Moon great praise for their 2019 debut “Before It Gets Dark” – an album that oozes a keen spirit of adventure and the chemistry of lovers. It also flaunts the production skills of one of the industry’s greats, John Andersson, who also produced their second work.
“Follow The Signs” sounds and feels like a natural evolution from “Before It Gets Dark”, which mostly explored venturing out. And while the vagabond lifestyle will forever remain in Wolf & Moon’s DNA, Stefany and Dennis decided to build a house together last year. They’ve matured, but they’ve also gotten more selective and spontaneous, which is mirrored in the production process of “Follow The Signs.” The band committed to recording one song per day, which makes the album sounds quite adventurous – a living organism that will develop live on tour. On the first two singles, “The Road” and “A Tape Called Life”, Wolf & Moon keep up the pensive melancholy they’ve become known and loved for, while mixing a good dose of indie rock into the dreamy folk formula. It feels like the songs come with more layers musically, revealing something new with each listen. The lyrics on “Follow The Signs” are unequivocally more personal, you’ll get to know the band very well this time around. What hasn’t changed is Stefany’s and Dennis’ ear for captivating melodies, if anything, they’ve gotten braver in exploring new melodic routes. Those moments when their voices separate into different harmonies still make the heart beat faster.
Wolf & Moon’s first record was set, as far as the lyrical and visual aesthetics are concerned, just outside the big city, on open fields, surrounded by vast countryside, untouched mountains, lakes and oceans. “Follow The Signs” is starting to approach the city lights, you get a taste of the more technological and sophisticated lifestyle of the modern world, without losing the sense for what matters most: remaining free and open to the wide world. But hey, judging the sound of an album may be the most subjective activity a human being can engage in. So, while I could tell you that Wolf & Moon will remind you of the early xx, Angus & Julia Stone, Feist, and, with the arrival of “Follow the Sings”, The War On Drugs, it won’t do you any good. You need to go in this journey yourself.
If there’s one theme that has carried through both Stefany’s and Dennis’ life together, it is having faith in your own decisions. They’ve never been afraid to leave everything behind in light of a purposeful adventure – like booking their first U.S. tour on their own without having written any joint songs yet, or moving to Sweden for three months to produce their first album. They’ve successfully escaped the grind, the 9-to-5 cult, the safety-first mentality, in short: all the standard drafts for life many seem to have accepted as preordained. Wolf & Moon not so. Their entire being screams adventure, potential, freedom, and so does their music. It’s a philosophy, an approach to life, whatever you want to call it, which is best summed up on “The Road”: “How would you know really what you got, if you never let go?” If you’re a serious traveler, you’re not interested in the all-round carefree package. You’re going to choose an 8-hour journey in a dilapidated bus over a 1-hour air-conditioned train ride. It’s the quickest way to turn the unfamiliar into the familiar.
It’s analogous to our inner journey: We’re afraid of exploring the depths of our soul, of looking into the abyss, of facing the unknown. But once you lose your fear of the shadows, they’ll develop a pull. The greatest revelations await in the unfamiliar, how could it be any other way? All you need to do is “Follow The Signs”.