Saturday, July 10, 2021
Given the state of the world these days, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting—and necessary—moment for Wolf’s stunning new collection, ‘Brighter Lighting,’ to land. Recorded with acclaimed producer Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Andrew Combs) and an all-star band including Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, Photay and Josh Jaeger (Fleet Foxes, Angel Olsen), the album marks the start of an adventurous new chapter for Wolf, who moves beyond the spare and isolated bedroom folk of his earlier work here in favor of a more collaborative, immersive sound.
The record’s arrangements are lush and textured, fueled by vintage synthesizers and psychedelic guitars that come together in swirling Technicolor landscapes, and the writing is bold and ambitious to match, hinting at everything from Fleetwood Mac to Kurt Vile as it reckons with doubt and hope, anxiety and comfort, loneliness and connection.
There is nostalgia and longing in the music, to be sure, but ultimately ‘Brighter Lighting’ is a meditation on growing up and being present, on gaining perspective by sitting still in a world that, for all its painful flaws and shortcomings, remains a place of infinite possibility and wonder.