Pete Fyfe reviews ALEXANDER WOLFE – Skeletons (Dharma Records DHARMACD15)

I used to play at the New Cross Inn, London years ago and was somewhat intimidated by the dowdy interior of the venue…just thought you’d like to know that, but if New Cross itself can bear witness to housing singer-songwriter Alexander Wolfe then we all have a lot to be thankful for. This is a young man who appears at ease revealing his sensibilities to a wider public via the medium of ‘acoustic’ music and by utilising ‘bedsitter’ type imagery in much the same way that say Al Stewart and Dave Cousins captured the spirit of the late 60’s many of the songs will prove eloquent and heart-rending. Putting his multi-instrumental skills and production values to good use Wolfe could seriously give the likes of Tony Visconti and Steve Lillywhite with their luscious string and brass arrangements a run for their money in much the same way he did on his previous recording “Morning Brings A Flood”. Although I have always enjoyed the ‘art’ of singer-songwriters (mainly due to musical production of the songs) I must admit that I paid scant attention to the lyrics (shame on me) but I have thoroughly engaged with Alexander’s songs and if you feel like exploring the avenues and alleyways with him this album will enrich the lives of all of those it comes into contact with. Perhaps not as consumer friendly as his old band mate Jamie Cullum this album will touch those who possess a soul and who are prepared to have meat with their veg. Highly recommended!


“I was in the middle of writing and doing demo’s for another album called ‘From The Shallows’ (which still lays unfinished on the cutting room floor) when Skeletons took over. I went through a fortnight of insomnia and when I did sleep I would have these really vivid dreams and get up in the night and scribble down images and lyrics. I had no idea what I was writing about at the time, what the metaphors were etc… lots of bone and teeth references, skeletons, blood, horses dying etc… some pretty dark stuff. Some of the dreams were about people and places I hadn’t seen or thought about in years, people I’d forgotten, places left behind. It just came straight from my subconscious. When I listen back to it now I recognise I was partly writing about the break-up of the relationship before it happened. It’s my subconscious sensing what was coming before my conscious mind had any idea.” Alexander Wolfe

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