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Albi & The Wolves - Album Review: Light After The Dark

15 Dec 2023 // A review by Hannah Jane

Light After The Dark with its baker’s dozen of tunes is an infectious album that will uplift your soul.

Award-winning indie folk stars Albi & the Wolves have created something of a wandering marching band for their third studio album which has made its way onto vinyl – one tick off their hopefully ambitious bucket list!

Released on the 13th of October, this album isn’t afraid to change its direction from song to song, and if it threatens to get lost anywhere along the way, the overarching theme of hope ties it all together and carries the listener with it.

Chris Dent (the proud albino front man Albi), Pascal Roggen and Micheal Young have added horns, strings and drums to their acoustic guitar, electric violin, double bass, and voices for this album which results in a much bigger sound overall. It feels so close to having the band playing just for you in your living room – which is amazing, these guys are incredible live!

Right from the catchy first track Next to MeLight After The Dark takes you on a journey through traditional folk sounds to murkier Americana waters and back again.

Heart on Fire repeats the refrain "it ain’t plain sailing, it ain’t half bad" which feels like a dig at this year - either way it sticks with me.

Pitter Patter is a slow and sweet reflective tune, followed straight up with upbeat earworm tune A Little Time.

Hope feels like a grown up offering to Alanis Morissette’s Ironic, and the repeated chorus has my mind creating alternative lyrics as the song progresses that linger with me for the day.

My Old Friend is my personal favourite on this record – I love the change of pace and vocals and poignant lyric.

Light After The Dark is a great tune and is well suited as the title track to this wonderful album, and Things Don’t Always Go to Plan is a beautiful way to end things.

TeMatera Smith from AAA Records apparently encouraged the band to experiment during the recording process, which they clearly took to heart. Bouncing between Micheal Young’s home studio and RedRoom studio the band racked up months of recording time, including one month entirely dedicated to Pascal Roggen’s strings alone.

Beautiful and discordant strings that carry the album to great heights.

We wanted to make something eclectic, distinctive, and we wanted to surprise people with this album. Just like our live shows, we want people to feel joy with us and have those deep moments to reflect on things.”

Mission accomplished!

Albi & the Wolves have just wrapped up their Auckland/Wellington/Christchurch Light After The Dark tour that I wish I could have gone to – these guys are a magic live act – and have recently been announced in the long-awaited Auckland Folk Festival 2024 line-up!

Roll on January, I can’t wait, and hope to see you there… in the meantime - go buy their album!!!

 

About Albi & The Wolves

This is folk music, but not as you know it. Pulling inspiration from a wide spectrum of genres, from swing to bluegrass, soul, R&B, rock and world music, Albi and The Wolves offer a decadent serving of double bass, banjo, and fiddle accompanied by Albi's smooth vocal stylings. These elements come together to create both a potent foot stomping rhythm and a captivating music and stage presence never experienced before.

With this love and respect of music in all its forms, Albi and The Wolves not only offer vibrant and refreshing original songs which burst open the seams of traditional folk music, but they also inject their signature sound into modern classics from artists as diverse as Micheal Jackson, and Pink Floyd.

Since the band's formation in 2014, they have excelled in New Zealand's live music scene, pulling in large crowds with their unique performance style, making it irresistible to dance.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Albi & The Wolves

Releases

Light After The Dark
Year: 2023
Type: Album
This Is War
Year: 2019
Type: Album
One Eye Open
Year: 2016
Type: Album
I Will Not Be Broken
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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