Australian singer-songwriter Steve Wallis, now based in France, is known for his pure voice, accomplished song-craft and finely finger-picked guitar. On his latest single, ‘The Wolf’, all of these elements are in evidence. We are pleased to premiere this live version of the song, which was recorded in a room in Neukolln, Berlin, resulting in a particularly intimate, earnest performance. Youka Snell plays violin and the combination of her warm bow, Wallis’s picked notes and the plaintive harmonica is mesmerising and surprisingly full and rich. Lyrically, the song is direct and powerful: “And Never once I thought to ask // Did it mean something that all my // heroes drank themselves to death?” The message about his own lifestyle, and that of other musicians before him, is clear: “But there’s a darkness that lures you in…And when I’d driven off the last of my friends // And I had nothing left to give // I told myself I deserved it.” It’s stark but handled delicately and sensitively by Wallis.
Wallis says of the song’s meaning: “If your north star is Townes, or Blaze, or Hank, or Bon Scott or Bonham, and if you spend your life playing in bars, chasing after a dream, then being drunk is part of the uniform. It’s fun until it isn’t, until it gets a hold of you, until you can’t see a way out. For the lucky ones, sometimes the way out is love. I fingerpicked a few chords and told the truth. The Wolf is the second single from my new album ‘Nothing Stays The Same Way For Long’. I recorded this live version in Berlin earlier this year with my dear friend Youka Snell on violin. You can find the studio version of ‘The Wolf’ out now on all streaming platforms here. The next single ‘Blue-Eyed Annie’ is out later this week, and the whole album drops September 16. You can pre-save or pre-order it here.”
Back in 2018, Wallis’s song ‘Melbourne Rain’ was featured on a multi-million selling PlayStation game, ‘Detroit: Become Human’. Consequently, his music was shared with a huge and unexpected audience. Then, at a New York writing retreat led by The Milk Carton Kids, Wallis met British multi-instrumentalist and producer Joe Boon. Their songwriting bond was the foundation for the new album, which delivers plenty of sonic variety but is held together by the consistency and quality of the writing and Wallis voice, both in a literal and metaphorical, lyrical sense. While you’re waiting for the new album to drop, go back and check out the 2018 EP ‘Things I Left Behind’; it’s beautifully crafted folk.
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