The first Wolf People album released in the U.S., Tidings is comprised of three years worth of psychedelic, folksy Brit rock recordings, some of which were composed before the formation of the current lineup. The tracks often blend together, and multiple interludes—one appropriately titled “Scraps”—stitch together thirty-second banjo solos and full-length songs about darkness and friendship.
Single “October Fires” is a catchy tune, the best produced of the slightly haphazard bunch. With an infectious guitar riff repeated throughout, it sounds as though it could have been written any time within the last thirty years—and that’s quite a compliment, as it would have stood the test of time were it a vintage track. “Black Water” follows in close second place, a song that feels reminiscent of a British brewpub full of smokers in leather jackets.
I’m admittedly torn about the resurgence of wolf popularity. While other similarly named bands—Wolf Eyes, Wolfmother, Wolf Colonel, Sea Wolf, even the forerunner, now-defunct Wolfie—may have long ago signaled the popular rise of ugly kitsch, I’m one of those girls who grew up with kids in the wolf t-shirts. You know the ones I mean; every hipster boutique is selling them these days, complete with the terrible blue-gray tie-dye and moon shining on the gray wolf silkscreen. Even Shakira has a song out about how she’s a “she wolf.” (Why must gender be assumed male unless otherwise stated?)