Album Review: Timberwolf – Flux EP

I’ve been really attempting to wade through the massive amounts of emails we’ve been getting for the blog (seriously floored at how many people seem to be reaching out to us now). My intent was to really get things cleaned out before starting to review but I’m only a few in and already falling in love with a new artist out of Australia. Christopher Panousakis aka Timberwolf hails from Adelaide, Australia, and has been taking the land down under by storm, showcasing his talents at both WOMAD and Groovin’ the Moo festivals before the release of his sophomore EP.

Flux is the follow up to Man & Moon and Timberwolf’s first recorded work with a full band. The EP was recorded in Cairns and produced by Mark Myers (formerly of The Middle East). Working with Myers, Panousakis used some of the darker elements of The Middle East’s recordings on Flux to help craft a beautifully balanced and fleshed out sound. These eerie elements shine particularly on the last tracks of Flux.

The EP kicks off with the first single Timberwolf released from it, “It Burns”. The song starts with some dissonant guitar plucking before settling into a catchy, folksy rhythm. It’s a great track to start the EP off with as there are some wonderfully layered instrumentations throughout not to mention Panousakis’s haunting vocals floating lightly over everything. Perhaps my favorite part of the track is the build up near the end that seems to explode over the last minute of “It Burns”.

The video for “Whiskey Jar” was just released a few days ago and really puts you into the mindset of an alcohol-fueled bender. Panousakis’s bluesy and classic rock influences really shine through on this track and, at times, I’m also reminded a bit of Summerteeth era Wilco. What I really love about “Whiskey Jar” is the small nuances sprinkled throughout that you’ll miss if you’re not listening closely enough. There’s nothing like a song where you hear something new with every listen.

“Fallen Sun” slows things down a bit, starting off with female vocals before Panousakis joins in. His voice is a bit deeper here adding to the overall darker feeling of this track compared to the first two. “Fallen Sun” relies more on beautifully harmonized vocals rather than various instruments like the previous songs which makes it truly standout. “Stranded” strips things down a bit relying on folksy guitars and vocals to carry it. It’s probably the simplest track on the EP but that doesn’t make it any less affecting.

“Seeker Song” closes out Flux with some more charming harmonization. It’s another stripped down track meant to showcase the vocals and Panousakis’s writing prowess. It’s no wonder Timberwolf seems to be on the brink of exploding in his home country and after listening Flux a few times through, I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s gracing the radio waves here in the states. Flux is a great example of Timberwolf’s aptitude for crafting emotionally charged tracks and I can’t wait to hear more from this talented, young Aussie.

You can pick Flux up on iTunes and Bandcamp.