London's Mt. Wolf have experienced much since their early days as a band – line-up changes, enviable hype and interest and, most of all, a sense of expectation that has never left them. With Aetherlight they absolutely meet those tall expectations, perhaps more so, they exceed them. Patience has been the key, as the band worked tirelessly behind the scenes towards the all-encompassing sound for the LP that they had always aimed for. After a productive 12 months with super-producer Ken Thomas (Sigur Ros, M83, Daughter) they have returned with a debut album that confirms that sound is now very much realized.
There is true diversity across the record – from single "Heavenbound" and its melodic debt to the classic, literate songcraft of Echo & The Bunnymen, The National and Elbow to the expansive collision of skewed folk and post-rock on "Hex," "Soteria" and "Anacrusis," the first of which was showcased on an EP in 2016, all showcasing a stunning use of falsetto and atmosphere to create something quite other-worldly indeed. The band layer tension and beauty across the album's 12 tracks, teasing melodies, textures and cleverly placed ideas that only reward further listens. There is a sense that nothing on here occurred by accident and that every moment has been pored over. That the wait for this album has been entirely worth it and that the artists would never have settled for anything less – that there was no greater weight of aforementioned expectation for this record than their own.
And so Aetherlight triumphs in its precision. This is potential carefully realized and with Aetherlight, Mt. Wolf dig their flag in deep to the summit claiming their stake as a band who are here to stay, suggesting there will be many more mountains, even higher than this, that they will conquer yet.