The only proper thing to do when you, like Matt Sweeney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy (a.k.a. Will Oldham), get back together to release an album called Superwolves as a follow-up to your 16-year-old album Superwolf is to release a video of a song being played for an audience of actual wolves.
To promote their latest collaboration and the work of Los Angeles wolf conservation non-profit Apex Protection Project, Sweeney, Oldham, and collaborator Emmett Kelly did just that. They plunked themselves down in the middle of the L.A. wolf sanctuary to play “My Body Is My Own” from their recently released album.
Despite having called himself a “Wolf Among Wolves” in the past, Oldham looks pretty new to the experience as he serenades the animals sitting and walking around the trio. Between verses (and during one of them), he looks around at the wolves padding through the sand or approaching to get a better view of the show. To their credit, each of the musicians performs beautifully, even with the distractions inherent to playing such a tough crowd.
As the song ends, one wolf walks right up to Kelly, sticking its snout up against his right hand before sniffing and licking at his face. That’s a hard act to follow, so Sweeney, Oldham, and Kelly just laugh. The video concludes with Oldham offering to come back and play another set since their music’s done such a good job of helping “calm these fellas down.”
Clearly, every other wolf-referencing band has their work cut out for them. Can you really call yourselves Wolf Parade, Wolf Alice, or Wolfmother and not play a free show for the animals you’re named after? We say every group that’s benefited from being associated with these animals follow in Sweeney, Oldham, and Kelly’s footsteps and give a little back to their inspiration.
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