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Elijah Wolf in Leeds

Elijah Wolf
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Saturday 11th September 2021, £8.00
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At its core, this is an album about stopping in your tracks long enough to observe and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you, even when things seem like theyre at their worst, says Elijah Wolf. Its about looking into the darkness and finding the light.

Given the state of the world these days, its hard to imagine a more fittingand necessarymoment for Wolfs 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, 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 records 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.

Brighter Lighting follows Wolfs critically lauded 2018 debut, On The Mtn Laurel Rd. Recorded almost entirely alone in a small Brooklyn bedroom, the album grappled with loss and letting go and introduced Wolf as an evocative writer with a gift for cinematic scene setting. The Wild Honey Pie hailed the records richly detailed lyrics and emotional vocal delivery, while Paste praised its flowing beauty, and the music helped earn Wolf festival bookings on both sides of the pond, from Mountain Jam to End of the Road.

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