Soaring blissfully within the new-wave realms of dreamfolk are South London quartet Mt. Wolf. Debut EP ‘Life Size Ghosts’ has already demonstrated their ability to exercise the art of modern subtlety. Acoustic recordings are manipulated into sprawling cinematic electronics, gracefully layered beneath nods to the past (delicate folky guitars) and nods to the future (smouldering sub-bass). “It’s electronic sounding but it’s not harsh,” explains guitarist Sebastian ‘Bassi’ Fox. “Soft basslines, a lot of reverb on the samples to blend them. It’s a crafted thing, it takes a while. We want to make new sounds.”
Kate Sproule’s celestial vocals float in key with Sigur Ros, harbouring that same choral fragility and ensuring their most ambient moments stay emotive, stay human. Even on the EP’s one instrumental track ‘Starliner’, Kate’s voice is a feature, an instrument, cut up, fragmented and woven throughout the tapestry of the song. “She does a good job recreating it live,” laughs drummer Alex Mitchell.
They all grew up by the sea before forming in London; Bassi in Dorset, Alex in Brighton and Kate with guitarist Stevie McMinn in Guernsey. Perhaps this explains their innate understanding of space, toying with perception and at their very best, creating a sound as expansive as it is intimate. This penchant for the very big and the very small is matched by their live plans. Conversation of a spectacular event, thousands of people, an orchestra and beautiful outdoor spaces is met with equal enthusiasm for tiny, well-lit rooms with quiet, attentive crowds. “The extremities of what our music is able to do live excites us,” says Kate. “It’s important that it’s portable, that we can strip it back or layer in electronics.”
So far, all their songs have clocked in over four minutes and the desire to transort our headspace to languorous, ethereal dimensions is even more prevalent during talk of an album. “That’s why we’ll release on vinyl,” says McMinn of the debut, hopefully out by the end of the year. “We’re not a band that wants to make a hit. It’s about the bigger picture,” adds Bassi. “We want to construct a piece that flows. We want to create something that sounds beautiful.”
Words: Kim Hillyard
Photography: Neil Bedford
Hair: Tomo @ Earth Hairdressing
Make-up: Ruth Brophy Using MAC
Where: South London
What: Celestial dreamfolk
Get 3 songs: ‘Life Size Ghosts’, ‘Starliner’, ‘Climax’ (Usher cover)
Unique Fact: One of the band was a professional poker player.