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October/November 2015

by Jack Woodbury

Fresh Talent: Boy Wulf

by Jack Woodbury

Fresh Talent: Boy Wulf

“I used to only listen to hardcore and metal, but then I guess I just went through this ‘musical awakening.’” For Te Awamutu native Tim McGiven, this common-enough change resulted in the formation of Boy Wulf, a solo R&B/alt pop project that’’s been nearly a decade in the making. 

“I got into music when I was 15. I’’ve been in a few bands…… Boy Wulf was the step up from that when I became interested in production.””
McGiven juggles a blossoming career in music with studying for a Masters in Environmental Science. While such an academic course may appear at odds with making new music, his time at university has had evident influence.

“I took an elective paper on medieval literature at uni and just really got into this 11th century poem called Wulf and Eadwacer,” he reflects in explaining his chosen performance name. “On a side note, ‘Eadwacer’ is the name of my first album which will be out on iTunes this month.””

In preparation for the album debut Boy Wulf recently released his second EP of the last six months. Recorded and produced by McGiven himself, ‘’Party Animal’’ is a true solo effort. It’’s a full realisation of the claustrophobically bleak sonic world toyed with on his previous ‘‘La La Love’ Extended EP’. Consisting of four tracks intended for the album, it was released as a free ‘teaser’ on Bandcamp, to test the waters.

“This was the first EP where I consciously aimed for an R&B feel. That said, I often get the feeling that I actually have no influence on how my songs will turn out. I just sit down at the computer, set up my microphone and three hours later I have a song,”” he (sort of) explains.

“It’’s like when you are driving a car and you arrive at your destination but you can’’t remember the drive. Writing music is a subconscious process.’”

‘Party Animal’ deals overall with a theme of consumption. The sonically spacious title track discusses our current economic model (written in procrastination of an essay on the same topic), while the following three cover more traditional lyrical themes of drunkenness, love and an apology. All four tracks blend dark imagery with cohesive, unique electronic production.

Though Boy Wulf is a capable singer and lyricist, the true star here is his production. Seemingly influenced by a multitude of R&B, hip hop, electronic and pop stars, the beats have a unique and abstract sound, yet remain razor-sharp and focused throughout. Synths soar, bass booms and syncopated drumbeats clatter away, all the while supporting the heavily processed, reverb-bathed vocals. In addition to his own releases, Boy Wulf holds production credits on others, including Canadian artist Sages.

“Producing is more of a side project, but I would like to do more of it.””

University remains important and exams are looming.

“As soon as exams are done I wanna get out there performing. I’’ve got a new set which I’’m pretty chuffed about. I’’ll just take whatever comes….”