Wolf People - Ruins album review
Bedford-rooted quartet Wolf People crank up the psych prog grit on album three
Modern English folk music takes many forms. There’s the traditional kind, of course, the spare tales of endeavour and hardship that took root in the tap rooms of post-war Britain. Or the more exotic strain of blues and skiffle-related folk that bloomed in Soho cellars during the 60s. And the electrified variety of Fairport and their ilk, steeped in a mythic green isle of pagan queens and murderous shape-shifters.
But there’s also a heavier kind of folk, as mysterious and ancient as it is extant and modish, that draws from several corners of populist music culture. Led Zeppelin are perhaps the most obvious example, but just as striking were early 70s outriders like Trees and Comus, bands that took folk into progressive new directions. Wolf People belong on the same continuum. Theirs is a mutable form of psychedelicised folk that rocks like a metal band while also offering detours into more nebulous territory. This voyaging pluralism is becoming more evident with each successive release. Just as 2013’s Fain was a broader album than Steeple (their 2010 debut), Ruins is a different beast again.