Wolf Parade released the first single, “Valley Boy,” from their forthcoming album “Cry, Cry, Cry.” The album is the band’s first full-length release since 2010’s “Expo 86.” Wolf Parade also released their fourth EP (“EP 4”) in May 2016, officially marking their return from an “indefinite hiatus.”
The band began playing together again in 2014, and began touring in January 2016. They also played shows as Del Scorcho, which functions as the band’s ‘mutant alter-ego.’ Playing as Del Scorcho allowed the band to perform live together without the pressure of Wolf Parade standards.
“We started with just jamming,” Spencer Krug told KCRW during a performance. “It wasn’t good right away,” added Dan Boeckner.
Despite the quality of the music, the band was having fun making music together again. Now the group feels that they sound better than ever, especially in live performances.
Wolf Parade went on a hiatus at time when there was considerable tension within the band.
“I think the break was really, really good for us. We came back a lot happier and we’re having more fun than we ever have,” said Krug.
During the band’s hiatus, Krug and Beckoner gave little indication the band would make music again. However, the majority of the band’s members ended up living on Vancouver Island, and it came together from there.
Beckoner, who would fly in from Montreal to practice with the band, said the band’s return was predicated on making new music the band was collectively excited about.
Wolf Parade established a large catalog of popular songs throughout their initial run. The band’s debut album, “Apologies To The Queen Mary” is well-regarded by critics, and generally considered their best record, so it would have been easy for the band to do a victory lap-type tour.
“Expo 86” was the band’s most rock and roll-like recording. And, although Krug uses his classical piano background, Wolf Parade is a rock band at its core.
Krug and Boeckner split lead vocals. Their distinctly different voices add an interesting duality to the band’s overall sound. Sort of like if Lennon/McCartney were David Byrne and Ian Curtis.
“Valley Boy” is tighter, and more constructed than the band’s 2016 “EP 4”, which had a more hard rock-meets-Joy Division-like feel. For their upcoming record, the band seems to be taking a more studio-minded approach in comparison with their previous album (“Expo 86”), as well as their latest EP.
The song, with vocals by Krug, is upbeat with a massive chorus–something Wolf Parade does well. But it’s much brighter than anything from their previous albums.
The brighter sound is likely the result of the band’s piano/keyboards/synthesizer use. Often, keyboard use sounds considerably less indie/punk rock. Piano and keyboards are featured heavily within the song’s instrumentation.
The guitar surrounds and supports the song, despite being the first thing you hear. There’s also an impressive dual guitar solo, with one guitar playing low, and the other one high.
“It’s pouring rain, the Earth is on fire/So you finally became that bird on that wire,” sings Krug, closing out the song’s bridge/alternate chorus, and referencing Leonard Cohen’s “Bird On The Wire.” Cohen’s death was an inspiration behind the song, which was also written during the U.S presidential campaigns.
The song opens:”The radio’s been playing all your songs/Talking about the way you slipped away up the stairs/Did you know that it was all gonna go wrong?/Did you know that it would all be more than you could bear?”
The last two lines could be asking Cohen about his death, while at the same time referencing the strange political/social climate. However, Wolf Parade is not a particularly political band.
The chorus may also reference Cohen, who was a famous ladies man. While the bridge may be referring to the current U.S political client. “All has fallen out of order/Say one, three, two, and four/To the south, a beast is born.”
“Cry, Cry, Cry” will be released on vinyl, CD, and cassette by Sub Pop October 6, 2017. The band is currently playing in support of Arcade Fire on select dates of their “Infinite Content Tour.” Wolf Parade begins their headlining “Cry, Cry, Cry” tour October 13, 2017 in Toronto. The group will play a few dates in Canada before touring the U.S and Europe. The tour is scheduled to end December 2, 2017, in Sweden.