Album number two from the Welsh/Dutch duo exhibits a conscious move away from the glitchy folk of their debut self-titled full-length.
First single 'Breakthrough' finds them collaborating with ESSA aka Yungun as the UK hip hopper raps all over the song to good effect, heralding the further changes to come later on the album.
A concept album of the human condition, as personally experienced by Angharad Van Rijswijk and Owain Gwilym, does though initially begin much in the vein you'd expect from knowing their previous work - 'Side By Side' and 'Start Your Car' having the angelic vocals, acoustic guitar work and minimal electronic input of old. Yet by the time you get to just past the halfway point track six, 'CO2', you'll need to check you've not got on a new Ladytron album by mistake, such is the weight of the beats & electronica used therein.
Pastoral charms are displayed immediately afterwards on the more conventional 'Blue Minds', making for a rather uneven landing after the leap from one style to another, which is a problem with the album as a whole. Whilst it's apparently been designed to fit together as a whole there's not the uninterrupted flow from beginning to end that that idea would suggest you can expect. Then again this could be deliberate to represent emotional changes wrought by experiencing the conditional issues each track is based around.
The duo can certainly easily have their feet in both the folky and the austere, Knife-like electronica camps so live shows to promote the album could certainly offer up a more varied experience than previously seen. The album itself though could have done with a bit more thought in the ordering of the songs.
Several Wolves will be released on August 11 and available from iTunes.