Anyone who has played in bands which have opened for the likes of Kurt Vile and Fugazi, surely has to be someone worth checking out, especially when they are offering up their own solo music, don’t they? Well, that is my view anyway. And so here I am with pen poised to get to the heart of the oddly capitalised lone wooF and his strange and beguiling musical output, Roman Candles II.
It’s a sparse sonic world that he creates, one of gnarly rhythm guitars, emotive vocal salvos and, as the song builds, blasts of trumpet and washes of electronica. Like all bare-bones musical creations, the song leaves the lyrics high and dry, front and centre, under the spotlight, which might be a worry for your average modern artist with nothing to say, thankfully lone wooF has a way with words. Disclaimer: I’m not really sure what he is talking about but there is something very “beat” about the poetics here, something both world-weary yet timeless and the reference to both the seemingly intimate and personal thoughts and the inclusion of Ozymandias and the hubris and broken power that he stands for, is a neat literary trick.
It would be easy to home in on the lo-fi production but thankfully I am not the sort of person who wants a job writing for Home Recording Nerd Monthly or Holier Than Thou Production Weekly, so I’m happy to take it at face value. Whether by design or by budget, it doesn’t matter, it is a reminder of what is important, and that is intent, idea, creativity, and self-expression rather than music made by marketing strategies and pandering to a scene of their own creation. Spreadsheet indie this is not.
Roman Candles II might seem like the sketch of a song but it is easy to enjoy its sparse and spacious nature, easy to either enjoy the atmospheres that hang between the notes or mentally fill in the blanks of stirring string sections and heightened harmonies. Or, leave it well alone and bathe in its fractures and emotive nature. However you process the song, you are on to a winner and there wasn’t one dance routine or guest rapper involved to help sell the idea. Why? It’s honest! Honest about its own nature, honest about its intent. And that is something that we need more of in this world. Dontcha think?