Our latest FRUK Session is from You Are Wolf, the pseudonym of London based composer and performer Kerry Andrew, who has just released her debut EP Hunting Little Songs through independent label Mulberry House. Combining the dark story-telling elements of Laurie Anderson with the quirky vocal loops of Juana Molina and merged with the innovative folk twists of The Unthanks, she moves them into new directions, with her 6-track debut EP.
You Are Wolf explores English and American folk and original leftfield pop with gentle touches of electronica, weaves in spoken word and throws in an array of wild vocal techniques. She has been played on BBC 6Music by Tom Robinson and Gideon Coe, Radio 3’s Late Junction as well as Resonance FM’s The Other Woman and New York’s premier indie radio station WFUV. She was picked as an EDFSS/The Magpie’s Nest Folk Rising artist last year, and has played at Union Chapel, The Vortex and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Her debut EP, ‘hunting little songs’ (Mulberry House) is out now!
Andrew is a trained classical musician with a PhD in Composition and is a published (Oxford University Press, Faber Music) and recorded (Boreas Music) choral composer. She composes cutting-edge experimental vocal music, heard at the likes of the South Bank and Wigmore Hall and is Handel House’s current Composer In Residence. Last year she won a British Composer Award for her piece, Fall. And as if that wasn’t enough, Andrew was one of ten alternative UK artists selected last year to participate in the PRSF’s New Music Incubator, a creative exchange with ten Swedish musicians.
Recorded in her Bethnal Green ex-council flat amidst sirens and traffic, and with her husband lending a hand on guitar and bass, the EP comes out of an urban art-folk scene led by the likes of Leafcutter John.
Though unabashedly English, You Are Wolf cites less transparent influences such Central African polyphony, Inuit throat singing, earthy minimalist Meredith Monk and Brian Wilson among others.
The title coming from a typo in a preview of a show at Union Chapel, the EP explores traditional British folk and weaves tales of traditional myths and poems with inventive lyricism. Heavily vocal, it has a raw honesty, with swathes of eerie electronica (all created from live vocals), hypnotic loops and touches of glockenspiel, melodica and bass icing the sound.
Hunting Little Songs runs with the campfire intimacy imbued in folk music in its original tunes. sednastory and shamansong are taken from a much larger work on the gruesome tale of about how a girl becomes the Inuit goddess of the sea.
catalunyanpoemsong, a live favourite, started life as a poem about cacophonous siesta in Barcelona and later turned into a Camille-inspired loop-a-thon, complete with whistling birds and yapping dogs. The rural aesthetic lingers throughout, with trainsong’s field recordings of a chaffinch and leaf tramping ending the album.
Alongside her time spent playing as You Are Wolf, Andrew is also a member of core alt-classical scenesters, a cappella trio juice, who perform tongue-twistingly virtuosic experimental vocal music that joins the dots between modern classical, folk, world music and elecronica. They have performed internationally, were the first UK prizewinners ever at Finland’s Tampere International Vocal Festival, and have collaborated with the likes of Shlomo, Beardyman, dancers from the Nederlands Dans Theatre and Birds Eye View Film Festival. Their album is set to be released on Nonclassical records in May and the trio have also just returned from playing at this year’s SxSW festival.
You Are Wolf is taking traditional folk and twisting it on its head to create a unique and new sound, stripped back to its bare bones. A stunning debut, that will reward repeated listens.