WIFE- What’s Between.




Sometimes you hear something that makes you glad you woke up this morning, sometimes you hear something that just smacks you right in the gut and you wonder how you went so long without hearing anything like it. Various factors justify how it all makes you feel. For me,Wife’s record is one of the few things I’ve heard recently that has made me want to write about it. For a while now I’ve not been caring about writing about what I’m listening to. I’d rather shut off than write something sloppy. If I can hear something that makes me want to stop what I’m doing (in this case, working) and to just offload everything great about what I’m listening to, then I will gladly take it. I never know how long it will last. Sometimes it stays for a few months, other times it just goes.

What’s Between by Wife is truly one of the most haunting yet ethereal records I’ve heard this year. You can find gentle music in any genre. Whether you want the swaying and dreamy guitar sounds that can be found in Warpaint or the blissed out thought-provoking tales of Deptford Goth- there is always something there. Wife’s record is possibly the most gorgeous records I’ve heard in a long time. I mean it in its truest form; there is something so vulnerable and accessible about the record that just makes you fel as if you’ve stepped into a world you try to fight yourself away from.

The gloriously intense build-up on (my favourite) the track Tongue is astounding. It’s the kind of song you play when you feel like everything is against you, and everyone is chiding you. It’s the perfect song to escape to; the whole record is like that. What’s Between just ooozes escapism a way that makes you feel like your comedown from it all might not be so bad. Of course everyone is going to pay attention to the fact that James used to be in a Metal band and is now making this kind of music, but it’s not really relevant. What is relevant is the fact that is shows just how great a musician he is.

I described his Stoic EP last year as being something of a sacred listen, and to just freak yourself out as you listen to it. The EP sounds nothing like What’s Between. What’s Between flows beautifully after the Stoic EP. In a way you can say it is less darker, but there are still slight insights to darkness on this record, but for the most part it’s just a bloody good record with the ability to be listed as one of this year’s best releases. However, that does depend on what you read and such things. It’s one of those records you play on that long and tiresome journey to/from work. Fruit Tree might be the song that gets those lazy dancers moving, if they aren’t feeling too precious about themselves.

As someone who likes “noisy and depressing shit” (not my words) I can safely say that Wife is unlike anything else I “usually” listen to. Quotes because I’d be even more boring if I only stuck to one style of music. The thing is, What ‘s Between is pretty much like the Stoic EP in the sense that it really is a sacred listen. You want peace and quiet when you listen to it; you want nobody or nothing getting in your way as you listen to this utterly captivating and soothing record. Sure you’ve got your menacing moments on the record, at times it feels like Massive Attack versus Pop.1280 (which for me is bloody wonderful.) Sometimes you listen to a record and you just know it is something remarkable, and must be treasured. That something that spurs you on, that makes you realise just how much you really really love music and without it, there wouldn’t be much point.

*(Note to whoever reads this, when it hits dusk- gaze out of your window or go sit in a park and listen to Living Joy..just do it. )



You know when you hear something, and it doesn’t really sound like music. Music usually follows some form of structure. I dislike structure. I don’t like it. I dislike planning. Live by a quote from Jenny Lee Lindberg, “Organisation is bullshit.” Have some chaos in your life. Structure is bland. Music should be tested, experimented and pushed. When you regiment it, it loses meaning. It appeals to everyone and no one feels the need to seek out anything new. Which is why those talent(less) programmes fuel society. Awful. Ban them, please. You can find bands by accident. The vast majority of what I listen to was found by accident. Usually when I cannot sleep. I then realised staying up until 3am to find new music wasn’t healthy because I was becoming more and more obsessed; I wouldn’t sleep until I found something. Turns out you can find something really wonderful at 4.48pm on a Saturday.

WIFE aka James Kelly may be best known for his talents in the Metal band, Altar Of Plagues. Or you may not know of his music at all. If you don’t, you’re missing out. You really really are. He has the incredible way over casting night-time upon you; complete and utter darkness as soon as you listen to him. The very start of Endings has an eerie vibe to it. His music has an apocalyptic feel to it. This is the kind of music you’d want to listen to as you meet your maker, or the equivalent of.

For those who are partial to zoning out whilst listening to music (I am one of you, I always do it) Wife is the perfect artist to do that to. You cannot help but zone out and fall into this underworld he has created. The dark beats and haunting vocals are nothing short of divine. It’s another kind of ethereal. You cannot help but think you’ve been waiting a lifetime for this. I always want to hear something that just blows my mind. I don’t care for what genre it is; I just want it to make me feel like I am on a different planet. That everyday life is behind me, that I have found something sacred. I got that immediately as soon as I heard Wife. He is easily one of the best artists from Ireland. Regardless of where he is from actually, he’s just one of the best artists around. End of.

I refuse to ever place a singer/band in any genre. I find that disrespectful in a way, and I’m not a fan of labelling stuff (this could come from my dislike of structure/routine) I think I have an obsession developing with the beat to Bodies. It sounds like Portishead mixed with Burial; the vocals sound hazy. Almost drunk-like. It is absolutely stunning. I’m unsure how to listen to anything else after hearing this. Really bloody unsure.

His EP, Stoic is out now. I cannot express enough how much you need this EP in your life. It is a sacred piece of music. Listen to it as it gets dark. Freak yourself out, and fall into the depths of a different world. Cloaked in darkness but so comforting. So pure. Just bloody wonderful.