Vanderwolf live colour portrait © Chiara Meattelli 2022
THE NEW SINGLE – OUT NOW
FROM THE DEBUT ALBUM ‘12 LITTLE KILLERS’ – OUT JULY 22nd 2022 (VIA PROPER)
New York musician Vanderwolf has released new single “Glisten”, taken from his debut album ‘12 Little Killers’ out July 22nd 2022 (via Proper).
“Glisten” follows Vanderwolf’s debut single “When The Fire Grows Cold”, which is co-sung by the legendary folk musician Robert Wyatt.
“Glisten” wraps the listener in a blanket of warm psychedelia, sounding not unlike Flaming Lips at their most blissful. “Sometimes, from all the anxiety and darkness, you suddenly and inexplicably find yourself in the simplest of circumstances feeling blissful and certain,” explains Vanderwolf of the track. “A universal love courses through your veins and gratitude beams from your heart. Evanescent, but as real as one’s own despair.”
As well as being a musician with a long and storied history – most notably as vocalist with semi-legendary London band Last Man Standing, whose 2007 debut album False Starts & Broken Promises received plaudits from Mojo and Uncut among others – Max Vanderwolf has a hugely successful career as a music programmer and concert producer, working for some of the worlds’ most celebrated clubs and concert venues. These include New York’s legendary Knitting Factory and London’s internationally renowned Royal Festival Hall, where for nine years he produced the Meltdown Festival, working closely with David Bowie, Patti Smith, Jarvis Cocker, Massive Attack and Ornette Coleman.
By 2012 everything was underway for Last Man Standing’s follow-up album. Having regularly played the raucous summer UK festival side stages, the band had a reputation for stirring up a tent with their wild stage show. “Chris Tofu MBE – the great festival DJ/promoter was the first to hear the band and say, this is wild,” recalls Max. “He booked us into notorious Lost Vagueness parties and that changed things for us. He’s a DJ with golden ears and heard all our influences and went crazy for it straight away.”
The band earned enough notoriety that Wildflower Records, owned and operated by folk legend, Judy Collins, signed them. “By then we had heaps of recorded songs and it was time to really focus on compiling & mixing an album’s worth,” says Max.
But, as so often happens in the life of a band on small label, Wildflower Records folded while the band were on a semi-disastrous tour in Russia that saw their long-time drummer Chris Cordoba vow never to go on the road again. So the band were in flux, and without label and it wasn’t easy to consider another self-released record. Meanwhile, Max’s work-life, producing shows internationally for Sparks, John Cale, The Residents and many others, was going full-force.
Then came Covid-19. “The pandemic killed all my work but it got me back in the studio,” says Max, who is currently based in Los Angeles. “I tried to compile the 30-45 tracks we’d recorded over the years – and it just did my head-in every time. I couldn’t build it into a cohesive statement. And then months would go by and I’d try again and the same things would happen.’’
Desperate and feeling stuck in a loop of indecision, Vanderwolf turned to long-time collaborator/Last Man Standing keyboardist Sam Sallon and said, “YOU do it.’’
And he did. ‘’He presented me the track sequence that blew me away. Why I hadn’t I seen it? It suddenly had shape, made a progression, implied an overarching narrative. 12 killer songs lined up in a pretty row.’’
That record is ‘12 Little Killers’. Enjoy. It’s been worth the wait.
And with two more albums in production, it looks like Max Vanderwolf might just finally be on a roll.
VANDERWOLF – ‘12 LITTLE KILLERS’ ALBUM TRACKLISTING
01 I Am Not A Mountain
02 Ain’t Gonna Hurt
03 Somethin 4 Nuthin
04 Stand By Your Fool
05 If This Is Love (Please Make It Stop)
07 The Existential Terrier
08 Walking Away
12 Somebody’s Love Song
Vanderwolf’s album ‘12 Little Killers’ is released July 22nd 2022 (via Proper)