Releasing a song that is career-defining poses a particular challenge to an artist. At first, it’s great to revel in the success that it affords you, but then comes the feat of topping it. Fans learn of you and grow with you because of that one song, like Ookay with “Thief” or Fisher with “Losing It.” But it also tends to pigeon hole you as an artist, which can be a very precarious position for someone looking to expand their creative identity.
The same thing happened to Jai Wolf in 2015 with “Indian Summer,” which has arguably sustained him by itself for the past four years. But with such a song looming overhead, the desire to forge past it grows stronger, and that’s what Jai Wolf has done with his debut album out today, The Cure To Loneliness.
TCTL is not “Indian Summer,” and knowing that before going in is going to help with a bit of the shell shock, I assure you. The album is heavily influenced by pop and artists like M83, Capital Cities, The Shins, and while an electronic sound is at the album’s core, it’s not the main focus.
There’s a variety between instrumental and vocal tracks, as well as more electronic and more pop-leaning, that keeps TCTL from ever feeling stale or monotonous. The ebb and flow between the styles serves both to keep old fans interested as well as new, and that’s not an easy feat to accomplish by any means.
Whether fans will continue to come back to Jai Wolf’s debut album down the line and what their view of it will be depends entirely on where he goes from here. After all, an artist’s work is never truly over. However, for now, The Cure To Loneliness will be my companion on any lonely night.
Listen below, out now via Mom+Pop.