Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
A prelude to the Wolf In A Spacesuit song, "Anger," features a found recording - likely from a thrift store vinyl record purchased for a few quarters because of the promise of a quirky cover - of a seductive older woman explaining the definition of the work tenderness. She airy says, "Tenderness has the quality of soft delight. Exquisitely gentle. Whispery, delicate. Tenderness is something you live and feel. This is tenderness in full measure." She fades into the ether - one can almost hear her doing so tenderly - and we're suddenly all aboard a passenger train with all of the amenities you could hope for in a pop song.
Even when lead singer Algebra Huxley suggests that he's got demons on his back at all times, unable to shake them off, we hear something more like a beautiful afternoon nap than someone fighting with evil and the anger that comes with it. If this is as rough as his anger gets, he wouldn't hurt a mosquito, but he swells up at any stray sting. He sings, "We make the same mistakes a lot/But I can never tell you why/Never wanted anything simple/So I try/No bright lights." It's as if we're taken into the shielded world of someone who's been able to operate under the cover of night, under the cover of little recognizance. It's not all bad, slipping in here or there, enveloping oneself into a crowd, into a room, into a vacuum. It's mostly great, though it tends to leave behind an empty feeling, that ducking and covering.
Wolf In A Spacesuit songs are expertly crafted, with a feel for the glitchy ideals of laptop and electronic music - those beats and arrangements put together late at night before a computer screen, with a beer and a nearly finished off bag of potato chips close at-hand - and those of honest to goodness soul music, albeit soul music that's been once or twice removed and usurped by the whippersnappers. It's music that hits the outside of windows easily like a calm shower, in a mixture of conflicting reports. We are hearing from people who are trying not to lose their shit, hoping not to go insane and buckle under all the pressures they feel, but they're taking their breaths, steadying themselves for what's going to be a bumpy ride. They'll need all that tenderness, all that qualifies as soft delight to make it through the bruises.