“Sometimes the sky throws a handful of stars in your way,” Alexa Wilding sings on “Stars,” a dreamy track off her new album, Wolves. While the ethereal singer-songwriter – called “the neo-Stevie Nicks” (New York Times) – is best known for her celestial folk (2009’s self-titled debut and 2012’s astral Coral Dust), her third album is eerily earth side. The six songs unfold as Polaroids, revisiting lovers past and life on the road before Wilding became a mother of twins in 2013. What the album does not directly address is the nightmare during which the songs were written, on a borrowed Casio piano, in the hospital while her son underwent (successful) treatment for cancer. “It was fight or flight,” Wilding explains, “Instead of running away I retreated into song, to memory, making peace with the past so I could step up, ‘do like the wolves do,’ and fight for my family’s future.”
Co-produced with Tom Beaujour (Nada Surf), the bones of the songs were recorded live in one day, with Tim Foljahn (unmistakable on dusty lead guitar), bassist Jeremy Wilms and Brian Kantor on drums. “At the hospital I was in a music bubble, listening to an endless medley of Neil Young, Tom Petty, with some classics from my late eighties/early nineties childhood thrown in, 10,000 Maniacs, Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game,’ basically whatever was comforting.” The result is a muscular, surprisingly upbeat pop panorama, over which Wilding’s matured vocals – think Natalie Merchant’s grace meets Hope Sandoval’s psychedelia – are free to explore heart break and resurrection. “What is love?” she asks on “Durga,” the albums hypnotic closing song, reflecting that “Danger and desire / both are a fire.” Wolves is set for release in September 2016 on Wilding’s own Tiny Prism label. The first single “Eden,” is out this spring with an accompanying remix by Au Revoir Simone’s Annie Hart.
Tagged as "one of music's hippest chicks" alongside Florence + The Machine (New York Post), Wilding has been featured as one to watch in Bust Magazine, Dossier Journal, Nylon, Urban Outfitters, Page Six and Harper's Bazaar amongst others. Her music reached a national audience while on tours with Au Revoir Simone, Ben Lee and Jennifer O'Connor, and overseas via her video collaborations with Ivana Helsinki. A native New Yorker, Wilding cut her teeth as a side woman in Int'l Shades, an art-rock project with former Pussy Galore/Sonic Youth drummer, Bob Bert and Live Skull's Mark C. She lives and works in Manhattan with her husband and twin boys. Wilding is also an MFA candidate at the Writer’s Foundry at St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn.