Alexander Wolfe - vocals and all instruments
Drums - played by Steve Pilgrim
Strings & Horns - played by The Wolfettes.
Peter Jackson plays bass & sings BV's
Rachel Dawson plays Cello
Terry Kirkbride plays Drums
Sounds like: a heartbroken angel.
It seems a little wrong that when I listen to Alexander Wolfe, so much of what I think about is how amazing it must have been to see Jeff Buckley when he was up and coming on the New York scene. But in reality, I can't think of a bigger compliment. Like Buckley, Wolfe can bring a noisy pub to a quiet standstill with simple acoustic arrangements and an achingly tender wail that pulls at your very soul. It's riveting, powerful music that simultaneously lifts your heart skyward while making you want to cry. Wolfe excels at restraint, though, which is part of what makes the music so compelling - so many moments should simply explode with frustration or pain or anger, but become all the more poignant for holding back just enough.
Songs like "Lazybones" and "Breakdown" - both of which feature far fuller instrumentation courtesy of his backing band - certainly start to explore the emotions behind the emotions, with a greater dynamic range and terrific pop potential. But, the magic here is in Wolfe's voice, and he's at his best in the quiet moments, revealing the tender pain of "Stuck Under September," barely underscored with strings and a light piano tinkle, or calling the desparate plea of "This Submarine." With a self-released album due soon, he's far too good to stay unsigned and secret for long.
Favorite song: This Submarine
Photo credit: Luke Newman