On the back of some extensive touring across the country, Adelaide singer-songwriter Timberwolf is finally ready to drop his sophomore EP Flux.

You need only look at Gerard Wood and Tash McCammon’s evocative cover art to get a sense of the mood and influence of Timberwolf’s latest album – a lone figure with his guitar walking past the red neon-lit facade of a hotel. Travel, restlessness and fleeting romances are prevalent themes on the EP – so basically, just the life of a young musician, it would seem.

Following a year on the road in 2014 with the likes of The Pierce Brothers, Holy Holy, Little May, Ash Grunwald, Dustin Tebbutt and Jordie Lane to name a few, as well as appearances at AWME and GTM, it’s a surprise he managed to release an EP at all.

The result is Timberwolf’s first recorded work with a full band and was recorded and co-produced by Mark Myers (formerly of The Middle East) in his Cairns studio. The 23-year-old indie folkster (real name Christopher Panousakis) has delivered a luscious blend of daydream melodies and moody soundscapes.

With strong roots in 60s and 70s blues rock, Timberwolf effortlessly blends layered aesthetics with lullaby vocals, complemented by the female backing of regular tour band buddy Maggie Rutjens.

The 5-track EP opens seemingly quietly with ‘It Burns’. A delicate banjo ditty is played unaccompanied before the swell of electric guitar and percussion kicks in. Timberwolf coos with Boy & Bear-languid effortlessness over the music, complemented by Rutjens’ ethereal moans and harmonies.

Although the mere mention of the title ‘Whiskey Jar’ can’t help but conjure up images of a drunken Jim Morrison (think ‘Alabama Song: Whiskey Bar’), Timberwolf’s distinctive Australian twang cements the song in a local, youthful context. Gentle guitar pings and chimes pepper the faster-paced track, before a reverb heavy guitar solo penetrates at the 2 min mark.

‘Fallen Sun’ is a hypnotic exploration of inner conflict. The song has a wonderfully woeful and cinematic swell and energy to it, only reinforced by Timberwolf’s deeper and darker textured voice. He wails with poetic urgency in a vocal tone similar to Dan Sultan, complemented and lifted by Rutjens’ haunting relay and reply.

Of the album, Timberwolf has said: “Mark and I worked together through the whole EP to try and draw on some of the darker and more eerie elements of The Middle East’s recordings to highlight songwriting born out of quite a painful experience”.

‘Stranded’ mirrors exactly this sentiment, reminiscing on a former lover left behind – “and I left you on your own, but I know I let you down”. Timberwolf’s voice strains towards the end as he hits an emotional climax in the lyrics, supported by an eerie, echoey solo guitar lick that pierces the soundscape like a bird call. The EP comes full circle ending on ‘Seeker Song’ – a quiet closer. Timberwolf muses on wasted years with a reflective wisdom and nostalgia that transcends his age.

Flux is a gentle but lingering exploration into young love and loneliness. The EP is a polished band sound of jittery rhythmic beats, wistful guitar solos and harmonic storytelling. Timberwolf has proven his worth and work ethic on the tour circuit of late, and now with Flux, he has proven there’s plenty more to look forward to as well.


Flux is available to download on iTunes now via Create Control.