Mexican border crossings, the traditional ceremonies of surviving Native American communities and lunar eclipses all form the lyrical rock bed of the laid-back, guitar-driven debut single and album of new Welsh five-piece, Zefur Wolves. Sin Fronteras (No Borders) is just one spellbinding shot of fuzzed-up alt-rock on the emergent, self-titled album from Welsh five-piece Zefur Wolves, released on Strangetown Records on Monday 13 April 2015. Led by singer-songwriter Estelle ios, Sin Fronteras shows solidarity with Mexican communities forced to challenge the world’s busiest border crossing – communities that the band became immersed in while writing and recording in California.
Forming in late 2013, Zefur Wolves have revealed themselves just once, playing live at Wales Millennium Centre in 2014 in collaboration with Venezuelan choreographer, Javier de Frutos. The soundtrack to the contemporary dance performance forms part of Zefur Wolves, 13-tracks of bar-chord-driven alt-rock that encourage listeners to go in search of adventure, political conscience and spiritual peace. The album is preceded on Friday 13 March 2015 with the first single release from the album, Too Late backed by Wake Up.
Opener, Fading Out pays its dues to legendary songwriter, Jason Pierce, following Estelle’s 24hr binge on Rated X from Spiritualized Amazing Grace album, transporting her to a clear starry night in the redwood forests of Northern California. The album and resulting tribute evokes the band’s very real experiences on their autumn writing retreat, exploring largely uninhabited areas on the edge of the Pacific.
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Having immersed themselves in an ‘off the grid’ adventure in the emerald triangle, Zefur Wolves debt to the wilds of Mendocino, Northern California are equal to the sunshine-flecked, West Coast vibe of Mazzy Star and 4AD stalwarts, The Breeders.
Following Sin Fronteras’ call to dissolve borders for the sake of humanity, Accept What You Feel calls on love to find a route through difficult times, by learning to leaving the past behind. It forms nearly four minutes of surging, heartfelt grunge-pop, made to pour from the radio on lazy journeys down deserted American highways.
Santi’s Eclipse shares space with a series of other, acoustic-driven numbers that paint the album’s canvas in lighter brush strokes. Recalling life-changing moments colliding during a lunar eclipse, Estelle opens up precious moments for her audience to share. The ethereal, delicately produced Secret Song becomes an unassuming high point, partly for its distinction from the punky openers as well as its restrained studio touches. Drifting along with barely more than the vocal and synthesised drone, it recalls the deft minimalism of contemporaries Burial and echoes Estelle’s musical education listening to Ian Brown.
Pride comes before a fall and the two protagonists in the unfurling drama of Too Late are on their way down in a tragic love story of missed opportunities. Gliding on a plateau of strings and layered vocals, jewelled with delicate xylophone harmonies, a cautionary tale told from two sides of an unravelled relationship tells of the perils of mis-communication, a yearning to re-build connections lost and the similar, destructive tug of war between humans and nature.
The album was recorded and produced at Strangetown Studios by producer and co-writer Cian Ciarán. The album has been recorded with the vibratory nature of the universe in mind and the subsequent recordings have been calibrated to A = 432 Hz, which is understood to be in balance with natural resonance of nature and may generate positive effects on human behaviour and consciousness and therefore a superior listening experience to the arbitrarily chosen, international standard of 440 Hz.
The Zefur Wolves line-up is completed by Danny Wall on drums, Zirian Tahirili on guitar and Trystan Palfrey on bass.