Welcome to Boombox Blitz, an artist spotlight series showcasing overlooked singers, songwriters and musicians who are quietly taking over the world.
The wolf is synonymous with death and destruction and tragedy. In much of North American and European folklores, the wolf motif is closely associated with witchcraft ⎯⎯ the Navajo tribe, for example, believes the primal, ferocious beast are witches in wolf’s clothing. On the most basic level, there is a certain reverence that comes with the imagery of the wolf, too, seemingly redemptive and liberating. Electro-pop duo Smoke Season recast the notion of the wolf as a euphoric and unbridled invigoration. Their new visual for “Wolves” is splashed with vibrant red and blue hues in the middle of the desert, as they journey to find their barbaric and strong-willed inner animal. “I gotta get my head on straight / Feel you in the darkness, singing like a shadow (but she’s got me in chains) / Swallow and get giddy on luck / Guess I’m hidin’ in the closet with the bones of all the lovers I knew (a sound that can’t be tamed),” lead vocalist Gabrielle Wortman consumes on the first stanza, drool dripping from her glistening fangs.
The video features guest appearances from Nicole Stark (Tabloid Vivant, The Org), journalist Bella Graham and transgender fashion model Luna Lovebad and stitches together universal themes of inclusiveness and carnivorous cravings. “We’re not one to shy away from explosive emotions,” says Wortman. “Let’s just say we’re spirited artists and it keeps our music interesting.” Reportedly, the song resulted from a rather frenzied argument on the LA freeway on their way to a songwriting session. One of the two bolted from the car amidst a flurry of sluggish vehicles and heavy exhaust. They eventually made up, of course, but not before they poured out their feelings on one of their best compositions to-date, cathartic and pardoning.
“It looks to me like we’re animals / Gonna howl like wolves,” the pair grit their teeth on the hook. “It sounds to me like we’re feelin’ more / Gonna howl like wolves.” The deeply unsettling rage bubbles to the surface, wrapped tightly around Wortman’s biting vocal, pulsated between dirty synths and stormy tribal drums. As is their way, they’ve caught lightning in a bottle…again.
Wortman and bandmate Jason Rosen are expected to drop their long-awaited full-length debut album later this year.