EP REVIEW: Patrick Wolf – Brumalia

patrick wolf brumalia ep

Written for DIY

Mr Wolf sits comfortably within a musical pantheon of genuine eccentrics, along side the likes of Adam Ant and Kate Bush, going for broke with whatever over-the-top theatrics he’s committed himself to at any given time. Venturing further into the sort of darker territory he ploughed during earlier albums and returned to recently with Lupercalia, Brumalia retains Wollf’s familiar melding of strings, traditional instrumentation – by which we mean things like the harpsichord – and modern electronic beats, whilst also being a subtle maturation for those signature sounds.

‘Together’ re-purposes a pulsing acid house rhythm to underscore the Brontë-esque emotions on display in an otherwise string-swept love-lorn ballad; “Nemoralia” features a relatively understated saxophone solo; and, surprisingly, “This Time Of The Year” is like 2-Tone ska – horns ‘n all – filtered through his own idiosyncratic lupine lens (and it’s a lot of fun to boot!).

Brumalia feels a lot more up-beat than you’d expect from a group of songs written to reflect the current season, although there are a couple of slower tracks that allow Wolf’s voice to soar as it so richly deserves to at times. For existing fans, this is seven more lots of grist to the mill; otherwise, you should probably find a different mill.

7/10

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