Album Review: You Are Wolf – Keld

You Are Wolf is the hauntingly mesmerising musical project of vocalist and composer Kerry Andrew, multi-instrumentalist Sam Hall and percussionist Peter Ashwell. This trio combine their unique and striking skillsets to create an ethereal and alternative take on traditional folk medleys. Their latest album Keld is a folklore inspired concept album related entirely to water. Songs of water sprites, banshees and raging rivers all come together to tell both original and traditional tales of the deep.

Opening with The Baffled Knight, You Are Wolf set the tone for their album early on as the gentle babbling of a brook takes the place of any instrument, instead lulling you with the soothing sounds of nature as Andrew’s voice washes over you. Complimented by a voice that is every bit as clear and soothing as the water of which she sings, You Are Wolf is carried by the charming, enigmatic and crystalline voice of Kerry Andrew. Hers is a voice that is undeniably powerful; the kind of voice that renders you powerless – you are enraptured, mesmerised and lured in like sailors lured to the jagged crashing rocks by sirens of the sea. Andrew has a deft and stunning ability that has allowed her to pair herself with only the finest and most complimentary music and vocals. When accompanied by her backup vocals the result is a richly harmonious affair that seems to echo out into the world from some other spectral plain. You Are Wolf really are one of the most fascinating and ambitious musical projects in recent time, turning their hand to songs that seem to not only defy genre but time and space itself.

Keld is a unique and sensational album from a trio who are far from afraid of experimentation. The contemporary twists that the band have carefully infused the album with are totally inimitable and could come only from the mind of such a collective. Songs such as Breathe In Breathe Out are produced with such a vibrant flourish that you could never hope to hear every last nuance of it in just one listen. Enriched by a medley of instruments from across the globe the group deftly defy genres and surround themselves with an almost traditional folk ballad of pipes and drums but then they suddenly allow the music to burst forth in one of the most stunning amalgamations of sound. Violins and cellos work alongside panpipes, rustic drumbeats, shamisen and ululation. The result is a sound like nothing you have ever heard before. There is a vein of rich versatility in the bands efforts as Keld winds itself like a river and adapts so many aspects in such a short space of time. You might find other tracks such as George Collins or Drowndown that have an almost haunted electronica feeling to them and then there are wholly experimental tracks such as Charm that delve into ancient languages, water droplets and an almost unnerving and ethereal whispering that wouldn’t sound out of place in Lord of the Rings.

You Are Wolf are easily one of the most versatile and engaging acts within folk today. Their astounding collection of songs within Keld are able to take you on a winding and fascinating journey though time. A charming ability to infuse the English folk sound with influences from across the globe makes them one of the most interesting acts around.

KELD is released on March 23rd 2018 (Firecrest Records)
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Review by Joe Knipe

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