is a singer-songwriter from South London armed with an awesome voice and an artillery of engaging songs bound to win more than a few fans. His album, 'Morning Brings A Flood,
out now on the U.K. indie label Redemption, is testament to his talent and determination- aside from playing all of the instruments (bar the drums, strings and horns) he even did a self-taught crash course in recording and production. The refreshing result is frankly, superb-the audio equivalent of a one-fingered salute to the generic indie music that’s currently insulting the airwaves. Prepare to be wooed by a multi-tasking powerhouse of a man…
Firstly, your influences?
"Where do I start?... I'm influenced by lots of things but mainly by great songwriters. Neil Young and Nick Drake are two big ones for me. I covered a Neil Young song recently which was interesting because you really realise just how great a songwriter he is.
"When I was a kid it was hearing Jimi Hendrix that made me want to learn to play the guitar and it was hearing Nick Drake that made me want to be a solo artist. I get inspired by films a lot too. I'm a believer that you're influenced by everything you see and hear."
Can you describe the concept for “Morning Brings A Flood” and how it was conceived?
"It isn't really a concept album, it sort of evolved as I went along. At first it was intended to be a solely acoustic album but as i was recording it sort of grew and expanded. There's a lot of stuff about darkness & light on there which is important. The title Morning Brings A Flood is about light & is a lyric taken from the last track on the record 'Stuck Under September' which is about the broken love between the sun & the moon..."
The term DIY has been used a lot to describe “Morning…”, was this a deliberate effort on your part & how did this effect the writing/recording?
"It just sort of happened that way. I didn’t have a record deal when i made the album so It was made in bedrooms and lofts. I didn't have any experience in recording or producing so I just made it up as I went along. I think a lot of records made in plush studio's end up sounding the same. I like the ones that have a bit of personality, where you can hear the room they we're recorded in."
How did you think of the lyrics “Theres teabags in ashtrays & blood on the walls“?
"I have a few horrible habits & one of them is putting teabags in ashtrays."
How does it feel to be compared to the likes of Chris Martin & Nick Drake?
"I can't take that stuff too seriously. it seems everyone always want's to compare you to somebody. I can hear nick drake's influence a bit in 'till your ship comes in'. I cant really hear the Chris Martin thing but I'd take his record sales..."
What are your expectations for the album? How do you hope it will be received?
"When I was writing & recording the album I wasn't even sure if it was going to be released at all so you could say that it has already exceeded my expectations.
I made it because i had to. It wasn’t a choice. i hope people get something from it. I hope people see it as chapter one."
What are your views on the current music scene?
"There have been some great records released in the last few years...I love the Bon Iver record. Totally desolate & inspired. Grizzly Bear & Elbow have both made beautiful records too. I think its an exciting time, everything is changing but no-one knows quite what its going to change into yet. "
What’s next? What’s on the musical horizon for Alexander Wolfe?
"I'm just going to keep doing what I do, writing songs & playing them live. I’m really enjoying playing live at the moment, I’ve been playing with a string quartet and I want to build up a big band, like an 10 piece or something, to tour the album early next year. I’ve started writing the second record too...its going to be a darker & more intense affair I think..."
Whatever happens next for Alexander Wolfe, you won’t be disappointed. If you like your music mellow, well-crafted, intelligent (and catchy to boot) then you‘ll be more than satisfied with what Alex has to offer. I’m excited, you should be too.
Words: Jasmin Nawaz