It’s only their second album, but Wolf Gang has already caused a stir.
Their debut Suego Faults was released about three years ago to positive press reviews. Part of this success had to do with Dave Fridmann, who produced the record. Fridmann has worked with The Flaming Lips and MGMT in the past. His influence is clear in many of Wolf Gang’s songs.
But it’s not all Fridmann’s doing. Singer Max McElligott has a signature voice that is sweet and catered to the atmosphere of the songs.
The new track “Lay Your Love Down” is no different. McElligott’s charming vocals trickle through the verses with an almost delicate quality. Where many alternative rock bands rely on a powerful lead singer with a heavy voice and piercing high notes, McElligott gets his power from his subtle undertones. He never screeches in “Lay Your Love Down.” It’s not the sound of someone trying to punch his way through concrete. It’s like someone carefully reaching for a falling feather. His notes are high, but he only has to lightly touch them to get the melody across.
The song is catchy with a strong chorus hook. It’s simple from verse to chorus to bridge. Its simplicity is unusual considering the band has a huge sound with quite a few instruments at play. The drums have a big, booming production quality, while the synthesizers and keyboards add depth and texture. The song creates more of an overall atmosphere rather than focusing on any single instrument at once.
The video reflects this. It cuts from scenes of McElligott strolling through the streets of a city to the full band playing on a rooftop. One moment McElligott is in a movie theater, and the next he is watching a red car drive in front of him as he approaches the street. No particular event happens in the entire video, yet viewers get an overall sense of the atmosphere the director is trying to create.
Wolf Gang formed after a streak of luck on McElligott’s part. He was studying social anthropology at the London School of Economics when he decided to take a break and try playing music for a year. He played every instrument when he wrote Suego Faults. His touring band now includes four additional members.
They’ve toured almost nonstop since the release of the first record, but are currently focused on the release of their Black River EP. They will support Bastille this May during their US tour.
This is the new video for “Lay Your Love Down:”