Today’s artist spotlight is on the British pop/rock band, Wolf Gang. Although the band recently split up, their spiritual pop ballads reached a depth to arena proportions.
Wolf Gang consists of Max McElligott, Gavin Slater, James Wood and Lasse Peterse. Their instrumentation is a modern take on pop/rock and their lyrics hold honest and personal meaning bound within the ambience of their synth pads and electric guitar.
Naturally a band with these dynamics have opened for arena rock acts such as Coldplay, Florence + The Machine, The Killers, The Naked And Famous and Bastille.
They released their debut album “Suego Faults” in 2011 to positive reviews, containing hits such as “The King And All Of His Men” and “Lions In Cages.” The band then released the EP “Black River” in April of 2014, which contained some tracks ultimately released in their second album, “Alveron.” The 11-song sophomore album was released in October 2014.
“First and foremost we love playing live which, I believe, is apparent in our performances. And supporting bigger bands is definitely a great way of getting our music across to larger audiences,” said McElligott in an interview with Bitter Sweet Symphonies.
Some must hear tracks from Wolf Gang are “Black River,” “The King And All Of His Men,” “Lions In Cages,” “Lay Your Love Down,” “Into the Fire” and “Alveron.”
“(Our new album) sounds like a progression; you can really decipher each of our characters from the music and themes from the lyrics, we’re all immensely proud of what we’ve accomplished on this record.” McElligott said in an interview with Bitter Sweet Symphonies. “Lyrically this album encapsulates a personal evolution and the struggles that come with that process but ultimately there’s a strong positivity in it all.”
In “Black River” McElligott sings, “Raise me from the living I’ve come again / Raise me to the limits you gave me then / Save me from the river of sin again, again, again / Black river.” The lyrics in their album “Alveron” match the tone encompassed in the music. McElligott sings of an awakening of self-realization found from his internal turmoil. His choir-like background vocals create a spiritual element in the album.
In their song “Lay Your Love Down,” McElligott sings, “There was change in the blacks of your eyes, from the gold to the grays of our skies / I beat myself up with these thoughts / These regrets, these question marks / If I stay… would we fall? Would we rise? So lay your love down / Lay your love down for me.” His lyrics reflect the loss of strength and of love in his life, yet his re-found determination to open himself up to redemption. Reflecting this change of heart, McElligott sings, “Then it changed, in the blink of an eye / Saw the sun be replaced by the night / I learned your value when I paid the cost.”
Although Wolf Gang has disbanded, they’ve left lasting journeys through their two records, which leave the listener with hope through its honest telling of personal turmoil and growth.