rey villalobos: in the house of wolves    You’ve got to admit it. We buy less and less music. And it isn’t because we download things free. No. If only it were that. We don’t buy it because we don’t listen to new music. I don’t know when we put the breaks on. We didn’t all do it at the same time, but at some time almost all of us decided that we weren’t going to pay as much attention to newly-made music. The saturation caused by the musical choice and diversity of channels is probably partly to blame. As is our attitude. And we become more conservative as we grow older. Of course, we’re always ready to listen to something new or to listen to and get hold of new things by the groups and musicians who we love and who are part of our life stories, but I think that, with a few exceptions, our whole generation has given up on hunting around for music.

However, even though our hearing has got worse and our skin wrinkled, those of us who are addicted to music can’t resist the temptation and, sometimes, we make one of those discoveries which affects us deep down. It happened to me, for instance, at Psylocibenea in 2009 when I came across Grand Archives, which I knew nothing about; and when I heard House of Wolves’ first record in Moonpalace Records’ special, priceless 100-copy issue.

The lone wolf behind the House of Wolves project is Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist Rey Villalobos. He was a member of The Coral Sea between 2004 and 2008. Their style could be classified as ambient or art-rock. He decided to go solo and call his new project House of Wolves, the translation of his Spanish surname into English. His music got harder and moved closer to folk, but without leaving ambient and atmospheres behind.

House of Wolves did the production of his first piece of work himself. And while he did get some recognition for his work in the US, it was above all in Europe that his unforgettable Fold in the Wind (2011) was really well received by listeners.
That should come as no surprise. Because the whole disk is the wide landscape of Rey Villalobos’ talent. From the opening “50´s” and right until the end. The first time I heard ¨Follow me¨ my breath was taken away.

This year he’s brought out a new record (as far as
we’re concerned, it’s been another 100-copy issue from Moonpalace). What can I say about “Daughter Of The Sea”? Your heart inevitably flutters at the beginning, but, as in the previous work, he offers us small, intense songs. Maybe it’s more naked than the previous disk, more minimal, although the piano also gives some of the songs a certain dramatic lyricism. Rey Villalobos seems to sing in slow motion, offering us melancholy and hope at the same time. The songs on the new record are still wolves, but they come from a different litter.

It’s obvious that this article’s been written by a complete fan. But I mentioned that at the start. Nowadays, when coming across something which freezes our blood is an event in itself, you feel the need to celebrate it. If you listen to House of Wolves when you’re driving by yourself at night, you’ll feel the tears in your eyes. And you’ll like that. House of Wolves isn’t music you’ll put on at your birthday party. But if you ever get somebody to dance with you to House of Wolves, you’ll never forget it.