Producer, cellist and vocalist Laura Wolf has released her debut album this month and, although just 7 tracks long, there is so much to digest on 'Shelf Life'. Following in the footsteps of LUMP and Jockstrap, she combines her captivating, soft vocal tones with angular, abstract electronic textures to create an immersive sonic world full of blissful melodic flows and disorientating electro rhythms.
Her new album is one that waxes and wains between moments of subtle electronic soundscapes, that focus attention on her intimate vocals that are sometimes eery and sometimes beautiful, and moments of angsty electro instrumental breaks. The opening track 'Alluvial Fan' perfectly sets the scene for the album. It begins with tranquil cello flourishes and Laura's gentle vocal caress before a warped Alt-Pop rhythm takes over with incongruous electronic pulses, popping percussive notes and jolting string sections.
'Sadie' has a more continuous, distinct groove that leads the track. Rather than 'Alluvial Fan', which feels like electronics taking over a natural, beautiful sound, 'Sadie' feels like the converse; as if Laura and indeed the listener is now fully immersed in this electronic world and her vocals appear scarcely, merely flavouring the strange soundscape with moments of delight.
'Homebody' is perhaps the most engaging track that highlights Laura's love for juxtaposition as two opposing sonic worlds collide like a meeting of seas. Her vocals are tranquil and melodic while bubbling electronics compete with a romantic piano line. It is both pure and distorted, both so human and yet so robotic as if it could soundtrack 'Her'.
Overall it's a fantastic debut that fans of electronic experimentation and pure vocal brilliance can indulge in.