The Amorphous Patrick Wolf
Patrick Wolf is a chameleon, not just musically but physically — he cannot stick with one hair colour. "I’ve gone back to the black already,” he says, from a shock of bright orange. "I’m not one of those artists that have a trademark image and runs with it. It was a document of a period where me and Ingrid Z” — Toronto-born artist and Wolf’s ex — "went ginger like Hansel and Gretel living in a gingerbread house. That was our ginger period and I was documenting our lives together visually.”
This kind of escapism is common for the 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist. Since busking on the streets of London as a teenager, he’s been transforming as a songwriter, a musician and a performer. On his third album, The Magic Position, Wolf has made his most radical transformation, shedding a lot of the haunting gravity that shaped his first two albums in exchange for a shade of pop painted Technicolor.
"I explored the territory of unstructured folk songs, and the next thing for me to do was to try really condensed pop songs,” he explains. "The album was definitely an interesting experiment for me.” Lyrically inspired by love, he admits the pop-inspired orchestrations on the record stem from exhausting himself on Boney M and Giorgio Moroder. "I’m really inspired by the sheer optimism of their work, and I get very excited by the beats — very, very excited.”
So far his experiment has worked in spades back home. "In England it’s already happening, I’m finally being recognised by my own country, which is great,” he says. "It’s actually more than I expected. And now the indie press in England is ignoring me because I’ve become a bit too mainstream, but I like it like that. I am kind of shaking off the idea of being any sort of cult musician.”
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