It’s been three years since Paul Marshall’s last release under the name Lone Wolf, but 2012 marked the release of the much anticipated The Lovers…anticipated enough that Marshall was able to raise funds for the album fairly quickly through crowd sourcing site PledgeMusic. With a collection of dark and gritty ballad type songs, there is a sense of deep introspection that undercuts Lovers, giving us a sense that Marshall is baring himself to us here.
Listening to The Lovers it isn’t hard to see a collection of influences at work. The songs seem to combine a folk sensibility with an electronic foundation which calls to mind bands such as Joy Division and New World Order. This is felt the most in the opening couple of tracks. Ghosts Of Holloway launches the album with a great mixture of electronic support, some engaging riffs and Marshall’s reverb-laden voice rising effortlessly over it all. The title track itself, The Lovers, is an interesting arrangement, keeping the music very minimalist and simple while letting the lyrics and vocal melody carry the weight. It really works well to create an intimate atmosphere, which with a title like this, is appropriate.
Needles and Threads was the track that stood out the most to me. I’m not sure what I connected with the most here, the simple guitar that supported the song, the hypnotizing melody…whatever it was…it was effective. Needles and Threads pulled me in deeply enough that all I could do was close my eyes and nod along with it. It was far from the only noteworthy song though. The falsetto driven chorus of Good Life stood out in sharp contrast to the verse and it was simply brilliant.
If I have any complaints about The Lovers it is that I would love to hear what Marshall were he to take the tempo up a bit. The Lovers hovers around the same pace for the majority of it…but to tinker with that too much would destroy some of the effectiveness of what Marshall has crafted here, so as criticisms go, it isn’t a big one. Despite being under the guise of Lone Wolf, Marshall has given us an insight into himself here. This is a very personal feeling album and that honesty is a large part of why it is great.