Patrick Wolf is one of this country’s most talented songwriter’s and an accomplished multi-instrumentalist yet, many have never heard of him. From his Lycanthropy beginnings through to Wind In The Wires favourite ‘The Libertine’, the foot stomping fanfare of The Magic Position to stories of darkness and suicide in the most recent The Bachelor, Wolf has never been a man to rest on his laurels and perhaps more importantly a man full of emotion, his music ultimately being captivated by it.

He appears with a new chapter in his life called Lupercalia (out on Hideout Records), its name being taken from an ancient Rome festival of love, where people ran around naked and threw goats blood over each other – Wolf describes it perhaps more appealingly as a ‘love free for all’. This chapter finds Wolf more refined and akin to retreat from the madness previously attributed to his work – Patrick is in love.

‘The City’ and ‘House’ find Wolf reassured and comfortable in himself, while ‘Slow Motion’ based rather sweetly on the first meeting of his fiancé. With my personal favourite ‘Together’ filled with hints of electronica accompanied by swooping strings and spine tingling female vocals.

Majestic orchestration abounds as would be expected but there’s a distinct softness to these songs, which will speak to anyone who’s ever been in love. Lupercalia sounds more tamed, more precise with no sign of the previously mentioned over the top silliness once commonplace in his works which may have been the reason he has yet to break the mainstream but, I don’t think he cares much.

Lupercalia displays a man in love and like many of us, treading a path to which we know not what lies ahead, we can but hope our destination is what we always dreamt of. I’m glad he’s happy; it certainly improves his talents on an album with a personality seemingly as beautiful as the man himself.

I just hope everyone else finally gives him a chance he bloody deserves it.

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