Lone Wolf – The Lovers

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Paul Marshall, the heart of Lone Wolf, has been dabbling in the music world since 2007, when he released a solo album under his own name, but Lone Wolf emerged in 2009 as another solo project of Marshall’s, edified with a new moniker. The Lovers is his second album under this name, and it is full of swirling darkness and groovy tunes that will slither its way into your listening palate and curl up and stay.

After a forty five second introductory track of ambient and minimal sounds, the first track, “Spies in My Heart” kicks things off on a mellow note, setting the chill tone for the rest of the album. It’s a slower number, but it also shows off Marshall’s rich vocals, which are charged with emotional power and subtleness. There is an encompassing quality to his voice, which lures you in and makes you hang on his every word. Also on this song, the interesting and complex percussion is introduced in the background, which makes Lone Wolf unique from other alternative, and electro-folk outfits. All together, the elements of this number make for a deep and gradual introductory track.

There are several elements of this album that remind me of that of a stripped down Twin Shadow record. You have the swirling and meandering electric guitar loops and the central focus of percussion, which are exemplified on one of the most interesting songs on the album, “Ghosts of Holloway.” The third real track on Lovers, this song begins with an infectious riff and complex rhythm that will have you grooving even before Marshall’s vocals chime in. After a few opening moments of instrumental, Marshall joins in with the choppy percussion and riff to add another element of smooth to the mix. His voice, combining with the guitar’s cohesive riff, nicely juxtaposes with the cutty drumming. If you haven’t enjoyed the album up to this point, do yourself a favor and listen to this little baby on repeat a few times—it’s damn catchy.

While the juxtaposition between smooth and sharp is quite effective on this number and others like “The Swan of Meander” and “The Good Life,” there is quite a bit of it within the small space of this thirty-four minute album. I’m not saying that it’s not intriguing and appealing, but that The Lovers is missing that element of surprise and variation that would allow it to go from a good album to an especially great one. It’s still a haunting and groovy album with several excellent tracks to enjoy and get lost in. So give The Lovers a try and find some new tracks to spice up your mixes and musical repertoire.

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