Write songs. Record songs. Release album. It seems simple enough, but for anyone who has spent anytime within the convoluted and cracked walls of the record industry, it is never this easy. And yet there is a new project which has cut ties from the current paradigms of making and releasing recorded music. A heart-felt solo project from an already successful songwriter, Wolftron is a pure attempt at creating art and getting it to the ears of music lovers.
It may seem a bit melodramatic for a 23 year old kid from the Pacific Northwest to be challenging the status quo, but for Kenny Choi, the heart and voice behind Wolftron's ambient pop songs and current lead singer/songwriter for a project responsible for close to 50,000 records sold in the US, it's the God's honest truth. Wolftron is your bedroom pop favorite of 2008. The debut LP Flesh & Fears, out on Eyeball Records, is a sweet melancholy narrative complete with haunting vocals and breathtaking composition which recalls a more ambient One AM Radio or a more techno savy Iron & Wine; perhaps a less nordic Sigur Ros. With sparse electronics and songwriting chops that seem to come frighteningly easy to this young veteran, a new generation of music fans may have found their Nick Drake.
On Flesh & Fears, we find that true brilliance in the creative process isn't marked by over thought spastic attempts at dissidence which we often associate with critically acclaimed music. The record's first single, "Sugar Skulls" is a lament for growth in the face of self awareness, where reverb drenched melodies are off set by hook after hook and seemingly endless wave of lush arrangements. "Ugly Bird" finds an addictive alt. country guitar line chugging alongside chamber pop vocals, all the while our melody is never forgotten through beautiful layering of keys, synths and strings.
On this debut record from Wolftron, the Harry Nilson-esque moments on the records are few and far between, but one gets a sense that the eclectic American songwriter is alive and well.