ARTIST: Little Red Wolf
TITLE: Junk Sparrow
YEAR RELEASED: 2014
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: In Wisconsin, you betcha some know these songs.
LINEUP: Meghan Rose, Kelly Maxwell, Emily Mills, Laura Detert.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second record from Madison-based quartet varies up the styles for good effect, mostly.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Great music isn’t always by national acts. Sometimes, they’re made my artists who can’t really get out and tour very far afield due to day jobs and other commitments. Little Red Wolf is based in Madison, and the four women who make up this group are versatile artists. It shows in this, their second album.
They change up their sound a little bit, adding for flavors like alt-country and gospel to their mix. Still, the emphasis is on song and harmonies. The latter are strong, and the former shows they have great ears for structure and melody.
The one issue I have is sequencing. A couple of tracks with similar ‘breathy’ vocals are stacked back to back. Maybe that’s my personal taste, but I’d have like them broken up. Still, if that’s the only real quibble, what we have here is a fine record to hear.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Rose and Maxwell collaborated on the musical Held, premiering at the NYC Fringe Festival.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: A talented quartet that should be heard outside of the upper Midwest.
ARTIST: Little Red Wolf
TITLE: If Only We Were Just Like We Are
YEAR RELEASED: 2010
CHART ACTION: No
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Hip and well-read Wisconsinites have heard them!.
LINEUP: Kelly Maxwell, Meghan Rose, Emily Mills, Laura Detert
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Wisconsin foursome blends voices, styles and multi-instruments for a pleasing debut record.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: NOTE: I know Emily – have drank beers with her and sent her a bunch of mix CDs for a Mix Tape Trade we participated in, but I’ll try to remain unbiased.
You could say that this is a folkie record – or a blend of alt-country and folk – or…well, it’s kind of hard to pin LRW down into a genre. I can say this, there are plenty of good songs here and it is a pleasant listen for chilling out.
The quartet harmonizes well, plays a variety of styles and instruments and share in the writing and singing. For an independent release, the production is great as well, with everything in good balance and clear and crisp, which you need for this music.
My only quibble is that at times it seems the songs aren’t as varied as I’d like them to be. Maybe it’s the sequencing or just how the songs are structured, but I want more of a changeup on occasion, especially near the end of the album. However, that’s a quibble – hopefully they’ll make more music for a long while.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Emily is a Sunday columnist for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but there is a re-mix album.
GRADE: B+-: A good album for a rainy weekend where you just want to stay in and chill.