Friday, May 25, 2007In defence of Patrick Wolf
Much has been written about Patrick Wolf in the last few months. It has, indeed, been a strange couple of months for young Patrick. Having signed to Polydor's 'indie' imprint, Loog last year, Patrick has been receiving more attention and praise than ever before; he's also been touring more, doing more interviews and even appearing on the Charlotte Church show. Things got a bit crazy when he played at Miss-Shapes (NY) and hit and sacked his drummer on stage, announcing two weeks later on his messageboard that he would be retiring from this kind of way of musicking at the end of the year. Cue: the story spreading like wildfire around the internets, Record Company Men calling up Patrick and bringing him to his sense, an explanation to Pitchfork and commencing the touring. Phew!
As a long time fan of Patrick Wolf I thought it important to point out a couple of things in the face of the criticism he has received. Patrick is a human and a young one at that. Self-doubt and insecurity are inevitable traits, as are reactions and actions in the heat of the moment which may later be regretted. As a multi-instrumentalist solo artist he is used to having full control over everything; it is conceivable that the pressure of promotional schedules, conquering markets and making public appearances takes a while to get used to. Finally, the stress of meeting all the high expectations placed upon him is clearly affecting. For these reasons, I say don't judge Patrick Wolf on his recent actions. Listen to his music instead.
And what wonderful music he has given us. Three fantastic albums: 2003's Lycanthropy electro-y folk (my favourite), 2005's Wind In The Wires - a luscious, sweeping and mystical folk record, and 2007's Magic Position which is a carnival of different pop sounds. He's playing festivals all over Europe and Britain this summer and some more US dates in the next few days.
Let's just hope that Patrick gives us more music in the coming years.
For my part I'd prefer the darker, electrical type of Lycanthropy but I'm open for surprises.