Track Of The Week – Lewis McLaughlin – Wolf In The Woods

20-year-old Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Mclaughlin has announced his life-affirming debut album, ‘Feel The Ground You Walk Upon’. It will come out via Andy Monaghan’s (Frightened Rabbit) label Monohands Records on March 25th. A new single, ‘Wolf In The Woods’, has been released to accompany the news.

The son of a once prolific folk duo, McLaughlin connects the community spirit, and trad music of that period with the music of his era, specifically the electro-indie of Sylvan Esso and Animal Collective, to create a new, wholly inimitable sound that’s entirely his own

Lead-single ‘Wolf In The Woods’ perhaps best showcases this curious amalgam, blending drum machine and synth with accordion and fiddle. McLaughlin, however, manages to make these unlikely bedfellows seem a hand-in-glove fit, so much so that the entire human songwriting that lies underneath shines through in high definition. 
McLaughlin philosophises that life’s experiences and feelings come and go, and that their impermanence means you should take each, whether that’s love, euphoria, anxiety or misery, at face value. 

The aforementioned ‘Wolf In The Woods’ addresses his first experiences with anxiety and how he has come to deal with it over time. Elaborating further, he said: “I wrote ‘Wolf In The Woods’ before I even knew what Anxiety was, but it was manifesting itself in me. It was quite a confusing and scary time for me, as I had all these unexplained symptoms and feelings. 

“In an age of extreme Anxiety throughout the world, it can be pretty therapeutic to sing/shout about it. Anxiety can be an incredibly lonely thing to go through, but I’ve found that being open about it is so important and helpful to yourself and others around you. It seems so simple but literally just talking (to friends/family/professionals) about what’s going on is so beneficial, although it’s daunting taking that first step. It took me a long time anyway to open up.”

Elsewhere, he explores the complex feelings that emerge from first loves and leaving home for the first time as well as life’s more simple pleasures like brassnecking into Edinburgh’s pubs whilst underage and the gift of a sunny day spent with pals. 

A life-affirming listen, ‘Feel The Ground You Walk Upon’ in one moment will have you misty-eyed, wishing you could hold a pint aloft with your dearest pals and in the next, have you contemplating your most intense personal struggles. All the while Mclaughlin’s warm timbre blazes perpetually, unifying and comforting the lost souls that gather in its glow. 

McLaughlin will launch the album at The Hug & Pint on March 26.