Why? It’s actually not a question but the name of the project Josiah Wolf has been a part of with younger brother Yoni Wolf, as well as Doug McDiarmid and Matt Meldon for the better part of 15 years. While the group has become a staple of both the Hip-Hop and Indie communities, it’s been through the band’s ability to eschew singular genres, allowing them to meld, for a sound that derivative unto itself. But this isn’t about Why?
Josiah Wolf is probably one the best-kept secrets you’ve…sort of heard of. He’s released his debut full-length, Jet Lag (Anticon), 10 years ago following up 2003’s The Josiah EP. The music Wolf delivers, shouldn’t be ignored as the multi-instrumentalist weaves a tapestry of sound that’s organically ethereal in nature and compelling.
One day ahead of its release, Josiah Wolf shares his new release, the Crest E.P. and the songs and structures within don’t disappoint as he embarks on a musical journey that obviously shares similarities to his other project, but is definitively his own here.
Of Crest, Wolf offers this:
“The Insides of This Side” and “Submission” were written and recorded during the first half of 2019 a couple of months apart from each other during two separate psychedelic journeys. Each song I wrote and then immediately recorded (it). Vocals and guitars were tracked together on a Tascam 388 tape machine then revisited a year later and heavily produced in Pro Tools with additional instruments and my wife Liz adding background vocals. I considered re-recording my vocals for a cleaner sound and to separate them from the guitar but there was something about the urgency and sincerity of the original recordings that could not be recaptured. Also, there were some ghosts in the old tape that were strangely fitting and mysterious so really I had no choice but to keep the original tracks.
“The King of our Time” is based on the Polysix loop that begins the tune which I made from one of Liz’s improvisations on the synthesizer last year. I turned it into a song this May 2020 to round out and anchor the EP around current events that are so prevalent I could find no other direction. The chorus that Liz so beautifully sings came to me while mowing the lawn on a hot sunny day. Some of the lyrics are based on a conversation I had with my mother.
Half of all proceeds from this EP will be donated to Innocence Project. There are so many things to be done to change and replace many of the problematic systems we have in place. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin or where best to put one’s time/energy/money. I chose this organization after talking to Liz about many of these issues and seeing the good (and very difficult) work they are doing of exonerating people who have been wrongly convicted and locked up for a crime they did not commit. The co-founders, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, were key players in pushing forward DNA science into the courts in the 1980s which is far more accurate than previous forensic methods. Many of those released go on to become activists and advisors in this field. This is just one of the front lines in this fight that works from within the system. I support those attempting to dismantle our current criminal justice system from the top down and I hope this happens but until then I like the idea of working directly on individual cases. Unfortunately, it’s a slow process but it is the work that needs to be done.
For more information about the Innocence Project: https://www.innocenceproject.org/