Album: Beware Wolves Volume 9 by Beware Wolves

Artwork by Beware Wolves

At last, we reach the conclusion to Beware Wolves’ marathon anthology. 9 albums, 81 songs, over 4 hours’ worth of music.

The unnamed Bostonian, going by Beware Wolves, is an affectionate singer/songwriter. What he does is precious and rare. He grabs his trusty acoustic, makes simple, soulful tunes, and then records them. A lot of times he overdubs harmony vocals, sometimes a guitar overdub, and on rare occasions, full band arrangements are used. His work is of crystal solid coherence. 81 songs that carry an essential, virtually uncopiable signature, and whether it’s your cup of tea or not, there is just so much about his work to admire. From the mysterious anagrams, the moon phases on album covers, the general lack of identity, which points the attention all the way towards the music. Beware Wolves basically makes himself a vessel for these songs, and very little more.

 Check out all Sistra’s Beware Wolves features here.

The 9th volume is, I’m happy to say, a fitting conclusion. After a journey that had mostly ups, but a few downs too, due to the bold decision to arrange the 81 songs alphabetically, the selection that happened to fill this volume is on par with his finest moments. Let’s explore some of the highlights. 

The starter, Torrey Pine, might as well be one his prettiest songs. A dynamic, impassionate guitar performance leads this way as the deeply soulful singing soars in one of the more memorable vocal parts of Beware Wolves. Trouble Me More is a blues song with dissonant, colorful chords and charismatic singing. A rhythmic affair that’s thoroughly enjoyable. Unforgiven One has sweet lyrics and a sweet, bright composition. Minimal chord movements that are concise and hearty. The strumming on its own is a sufficient replacement for a drum kit. Amazingly played. Unidentified is one of Beware Wolves’ more memorable songs. The direct and emotional composition that uses borrowed chords and toys with major and minor tonalities is unique and distinctive, and the resulting vocals and harmonies are stand-outs. Colorful and dramatic. Want You More has pop sensibilities and emotional, heartfelt singing and lyrics. Full of love and reaffirmation, this song is the most comforting on the album. Water & Stone is a bright highlight. With a full band arrangement, this song is sweet Americana, Pop, and Country all in one. The distinctive, familiar riff, the gentle chord progression, the gritty rhythmic strums, and the iconic vocal performance are all things that elevate this song into the stratosphere and bring back to my mind the age-old question. What if more of his songs were recorded with bass and drums. Now I’m sure that his stripped-down acoustic arrangements are a signature of his, it’s just that all his songs with this fuller sound blow me away. Just makes you wonder.

Another album of beautiful acoustic gems. Another album of sincere singing and heartfelt lyrics. Beware Wolves’ music has been a mainstay with me for the past 3 weeks. It’s been a thoroughly impactful road. On a personal level, as a musician, I learned that songs will be as good as they are, that no amount of studio wizardry or expensive recording sessions will rescue a song if this song isn’t compelling enough. Beware Wolves’ music has mostly been compelling, minimal, and simple. Teaching me this valuable lesson. In the end of this journey, If the artist is reading this, I want to let him know that his style, honesty, and bold choices have been inspirational. And I can’t wait for more songs from Beware Wolves.