By Kavit Sumud | January 14th, 2013
Have you ever been stuck on a precipice of your own design, waiting with baited breath to either grab that last foothold to the top or tumble to an ignominious demise? It’s a mountain you climbed alone; there’s no one at the bottom to catch you if you fall, and not a soul to congratulate you if you somehow reach the top. And so you look within yourself before you make that final push, and you are completely spellbound at the weight of the moment.
Well, I get that feeling a lot these days. I’ve got goals with only a few more steps in the making that keep me breathless and awake at night. I’m waiting to exhale, and hoping my world doesn’t “come unglued” in the process. And that’s a feeling that Story of the Running Wolf capture so well in their song “Stratospheric.”
Whenever I get ready to review a new track, I lay on my bed and let it run four or five times before I move an inch, but this track had me doing some epic, Franky from Series 6 of Skins solo headphones dancing (link goes to video featuring Owl Vision-Antichrist). Beginning with the soaring M83/Sound of Arrows-esque synthesizer intro, the song the track introduces a soft drum line that transitions into 80s-infused dance heaven.
And while they have you dancing, SOTRW asks, “How do you dance with a heavy heart?” The tone of the question is incredulous, and you can almost hear them casting longing gazes at the past while exhaling relief at the future.
But in a particular stroke of genius of spoken word, the band doesn’t let you revel in the future, and instead assert that the future is merely fiction. Ultimately, despite all the signs that the song should lift you up off that precipice into the stratosphere, it keeps you on that ledge and forces you to make the decision for yourself.
Story of the Running Wolf is a relatively new band that considers itself a little bit retro, a little bit future; and hope to take the best of Duran Duran and Depeche Mode with us into the modern, electro era. When I was talking with the band, they told me that they like to make electronic music with deep, songwriting that packs a punch.