Beware Wolves has gifted us a new treasure of curious musings. A prolific batch of impressive songs that only create more confusion about the man, the myth, the legend. Altogether bearing a unique breadth of influence and mostly showcased with a lofi appeal that feels generated from a bygone era. Like a dust bin record store find this could have easily been a buried analog treasure, but in reality it’s the poetic musings of a candid prolific genius who moves too fast for the industry machine. With every song he embraces the magic of the moment, and he presents it charmingly so that we might marvel at how he exercises the rush of inspiration in real time. The recordings of Beware Wolves are exactly that, a record of a moment in which a song was gifted to him. Like a spirited vessel he communicates them with passion and emotional deliverance. With vibrato he mourns their fleeting, having known enough of them to admit that once they’re confessed, they can never again sparkle that vividly. Everything after is a re-creation, but these recordings are the truth, presented graciously.
Volume 10 kicks off with the infectious percussive cadence of Better Times. With a sweeping scratch the imaginative guitarist emulates a steady snare, giving Better Times a snappy uptick. The verse design is rare and brilliant. This isn’t the kind of guitar work that happens on your first showing, it shows a connection to the instrument like a phantom limb. The artists signature vocal is full of feel and genuine appeal as he dishes this tale of hope and reassurance. “You’ll always get the best of love from me.” Beware Wolves reignites his role as existential protector. He does it with the catchy appeal of The Eagles or America (the band), with some 90s songwriter appeal and pop presence.
The sentiment continues within the swift guitar work of Dreaming Head. As if to ask “what goes on in that head of yours when you’re not in control.” Accidentally it exudes some unconscious guilt that’s quickly dispelled on the subsequent Easy.
Easy is bold. It knows the conviction it takes to achieve something. That something is the big mystery, the new enigma adapted from our original wonder. The lofi raw appeal reflects this rapid reflection, as if stormed with a flurry of instinctual patriarchy. The candid presentation feels so in the moment that you hear him humming the melody of where some instrumentation arrangement might be. That his charm, and Volume 10 is collectively charming.
The existential crisis persists on Freedom to Roam. The emotional yelp in the songs chorus finds the artist becoming unhinged, as his animalistic spirit reclaims its voice. By the fourth song its clear Volume 10 signifies a clash, one that invades his existential foundation, which is rooted in his music and its anonymous grace. To protect the ones he loves and the sanctimony of his art has forced some conversational reckoning, a facet that plagues his heaven on earth.
He finds that heaven on the densely presented Harvest. This indie country jam might be his most Americana leaning unit. He paints the future golden and bright, “and this feelings like a diamond shining in the dark, nows the time to rake the harvest of my heart.” Like a pioneer he pulls back the discovery of some cherished oasis. Stylistically we hear evidence of John Price and Glen Campbell.
The hopeless romantic is reignited on In The Night. This classic novella lands with nostalgic intellect, one that graces the legacies of 50s and early 60s pop. Artist like The Every Brothers and Roy Orbison, vintage crooners basked in vibrato and rose petal illusion. In the Night is smooth and sneaky seductive, like a thief on the prowl, a sly wolf. Lover beware the lust that permeates the air.
The classic exploration continues on In The Vein. Full of swagger and attitude the composition rings with jazzy influence, brought into the contemporary framework of pop through musicals and TV specials. Beware Wolves navigates the melodic spectrum elegantly and with theatric flare. The guitar work is expressive and with his voice he hits all the melodic inflections effectively.
With It Could Be So Volume 10’s vibe is fully realized. This bluesy groove infected banger gets under your skin. Like Jackson Frank infected by G Love its both angry and groovy, conjuring a lifetime of frustration with inspired vigor. The guitar work is simply impeccable. It reflects the narrative, “can you be relieved even when someone you love is tearing you down, and saying you’re wrong, can you find the peace inside to be strong…”. Damn.
The serene lullaby Little One features a Simon and Garfunkel style arrangement, where both harmonies bring lead vocal significant. We also hear Carole King and Joni Mitchell style inspired melodic fluctuations. Beware Wolves captures an elusive classic vibe. He does it in tandem and with effortless natural grace. Little One reveals another vocal ability unheard before, with R&B navigation and supreme flow.
One For the Records is anchored by an imaginative chorus that breaks the verses repetitive pump.
Beware Wolves embraces a dreamy vibe on the single Over The Wall. He incorporates a luscious harmony and dresses the main vocal with a unique vocal filter, Over The Wall has some unique features among his expansive catalog. This minstrel psych folk pop could have been an acoustic feature by Jethro Tull, with some of the poetic flare akin to acoustic Pink Floyd. Over The Wall welcomes a new scope of influence, expanding his aesthetic universe, its own world married to this lyrical moment.
Beware Wolves is vulnerable on the expressive Thirsty Man. The song revives the feeling known to his debut work After The War. The composition flows like a wild river, organic and swaying with a natural intoxicating feel. The performance is full of candid emotion and unhindered passion, as his feelings break through the protective barrier of these notes and inspired motives. He attacks the guitar with conviction and frustrated aggression. With each emphatic smack he attempts to manifest the figurative genie in a bottle, like an angel rising from the guitars orifice. An Angel there to quench the thirst that influenced this moment. “It’s dry as the desert in the red hot sand. You’re like water for the thirsty man.”
Emotions burn relentlessly on the subsequent Under The Sun, as Beware Wolves adds a harmony and taps into an a well of ecstasy inducing moments. Enough dopamine to fuel a lifetime of crossword puzzle days, that serenity of simple routine mornings as you absorb this life like a forest pine. “I can’t tell you how much you mean to me cause words will never do…” it’s in how we live our life that we demonstrate the power of love. The genius that is Under The Sun could pass for a first wave Beatles classic. Incredibly clever and fabulously designed, it continues sides 2 effective domination.
Way Back Home advances the sentiment. Passion and soul bridge the styles of Traci Chapman and Citizen Cope. Beware Wolves taps into a percussive rapid cadence full of swagger and urban flex. The upbeat groove shines within the contrast of the songs dark moody melodic construct.
The crossroads of blues and gospel intersect on the inspired Way Down Low. Like an outlaw Ray Charles tied to his southern roots but sent wild on a binge of chasing estrogen and moonshine, Beware Wolves releases the fermones on this seductive bluesy classic. The candid duet adds to the vintage appeal. The lofi aesthetic really suits the vibe, transmitting like a long lost Chitlin’ Circuit bootleg. Even Robert Johnson would buy into the authenticity of Way Down Low. This an’t your Clapton watered down blues, Beware Wolves gets dirty on the down low.
That percussive urban pump comes back on What You’re Made Of. This manic poetry accentuates the strife and internal battles flowing in these songs. The artist finds himself at war with his guitar again, like he’s beating its optimal utility to fruition. “Show me what you’re made of.”
The Nashville skyline opens to him on Why You Wonder. This could have been a Sun Records country jam, one thats heard the rock of Elvis but still has his Country instincts on the surface. It presents well with just a guitar and voice, and Beware Wolves accents a built in lead guitar line impressively. You can hear the shuffle where the snare drum would be and imagine a bustling band blended into this.
As if on cue a more expansive arrangement reveals itself on Worth Repeating. Beware Wolves bridges the legacies of Cat Stevens, The Carpenters, and modern indie icon Father John Misty. Worth Repeating is a gorgeous Americana ballad that exemplifies how his songs would sound with orchestration. The artist shows that he understands his music’s infinite possibilities. It also reiterates our premonition that Volume 10 bears an assent into the realm of ballads. When your cup filleth over, you can write love songs this good. Within all the strife and struggle he asserts that he knows what’s good in his life, and he celebrates it elegantly. A fitting tribute for a love so divine and true.
Jackson Browne and James Taylor come into view on You Are This Beautiful Song. Beware Wolves channels these icons with his own unique flair and quivering vibrato. The recording is uncharacteristically clean. A gorgeous song at its essence, it’s also one of his best performances. He nails all the marks, with enough candid appeal to keep it real and genuine. After all, that is his charm and the calling card that drew us to him.
Vol.10 ends with an inspired Good Bye. Hopefully it’s just a see you later. The lyrics appear to support that suggestion, as the narrative unravels like a moment of tempered separation. As if to celebrate, “goodbye to this masking thief who will dissolve in my absence, as when I return you will recognize the real me again.”
On Vol 10 he recognizes his demons, comes to terms with them, and then works towards eliminating them both in his mind and in the minds of others. He celebrates the scattered blessings bestowed upon him in a life of white washed moments. He admonishes the failures of emphasizing the negative over the good in his life journey, and hopes to reclaim some of the magic, a magic that permeates through his music convincingly. He knows love, he shows it in his music, and he admits repeatedly throughout his canon that the right words allude him unless they’re wrapped up in a song. Like most artists, he has some guilt related to the pursuit and its effect on others. He is trivially misunderstood and under celebrated to the point of anonyminity.
Like an artistic bandit Beware Wolves embraces his resistance to the conditioned vanity machine, that new opiate of the masses based on numerical attention. The prospect of likes to show your ass is going to be our historical baffling.
Vol 10 is another effective expose on his ability as both a writer and performer. It is extensive and fittingly has some stand outs. Collectively though, it’s another masterpiece, and fits in marvelously within his growing body of work.
Dig into all of Vol. 10
You can also explore our selected collection on our Beware Wolves – Essential Cuts playlist.
We’ve updated our playlist with selections from Vol 10.