By Pete Wilding
Alexander Wolfe has really dig deep for the first teaser from his yet-to-be announced fourth solo album, a raw but thoroughly engaging testimony of the debilitating effects of depression.
If that sounds, well, a little depressing, Wolfe manages a kind of musical oxymoron – the difficult, important subject matter leavened by an upbeat tune. His breathy vocal, perhaps unexpectedly, works well against a skippy, jolly folk skit, accompanied by swirling guitars and swelling strings. He may be from Cambridge (via London), but his sound would not be out of place in the Laurel Canyon canon. At under 3 mins long it’s pocket sized and the refrain is good enough to carry around all day.
Crucially, mental ill-health – particularly among young men, far too many of whom depression takes too young – is beginning to emerge from millennia of taboo. It is a considerable bonus to find it carried on such a lovely track.
Wolfe has a great knack for rich, immersive songs that suck you right in, and this is no different. No doubt many will easily relate to the sentiments in I Can’t Get To Sleep. On this evidence, it could be an exciting year for Wolfe fans.