Aby Wolf: “Call The Rocks” EP Review / Show Fri

aby wolf call the rocks

To many, local singer Aby Wolf is probably most recognizable by way of her collaborations. She’s the onstage singing partner Dessa (of Doomtree), the primary force behind A. Wolf And Her Claws and Wolf Lords, and has been part of numerous other artistic partnerships.  Truly, Wolf has only ever released one album under her own name and that was 2009’s Sweet Prudence.  That will be changing this week when album number two, an EP titled Call the Rocks, drops. While Rocks was produced in partnership with longtime collaborator Grant Cutler, this is not a Wolf Lords jam per se. In addition to Cutler, Chris Smalley also joins on guitar. And these are Wolf’s songs, born from various collaborations but refined and finished by Wolf alone.  In her songwriting, to use her own words, Wolf “taps into her life on the road, wherein she loses herself in fear and loneliness, invoke[s] forces of nature for support and eventually find[s] solace and inspiration in the beauty of the mundane.”

All those aspects are evident in Call The Rocks – tunes like “Alone” and “Mute” address the fear directly via elegantly moody synthpop and candid lyricism. “Maya” is a melancholy tune based on the recent writings of Isabel Allende, and contains beautiful vocal work and punchy gated drums. If you are looking for something danceable, “Any Shape” will take you there, and as far as sheer beauty goes, the EP’s final track is a standout amongst standouts. “Hive” utilizes no instruments other than vocal layering, to a gorgeous, almost liturgical effect. At just five songs, Call The Rocks ends all too soon, but if you are hungry for these (and more) songs doubtless Wolf will draw from her entire repertoire for the album’s release show this Friday, which will take place at Icehouse (tix).

Purchase Call the Rocks here.

— Jon

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