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Patrick Wolf

On the eve of his Grand Finale show, Patrick Wolf talks to Dazed.

TextKin WooFilm EditingMichael Oswald

Patrick Wolf

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Patrick Wolf has had an amazing year. Only 24 years old, he had already released two albums of strange electronic-tinged folk documenting the tumults of adolescence, before he returned with his breakout album 'The Magic Position'. Where the previous albums seemed rooted in a love for the desolate areas of England, this one was more autobiographical; a song cycle that documented the headiness of first love. In turns lovestruck, delirious, melancholic, and triumphant, it has become a landmark album for 2007.

A self-proclaimed "gypsy" since leaving home at 16, he has forged his own way ever since, relying on music as his source of escape. He built his own theremin at 13 years and now plays no less than twenty instruments. A spell at Trinity College Conservatory was cut short by a desire to create his own music and Patrick Wolf was born. 20007 was the year where he has made that giant leap out of the cult star tag into the wider consciousness. From touring the world to posing for Burberry, he can genuinely stake a claim as a pop star. Dazed caught up with him on the eve of his Grand Finale show to talk inspirations, film soundtracks, and his upcoming UK tour.

Dazed Digital: You left home at 16 and described that period immediately following as "hardcore survival". What did you learn in that time?
Patrick Wolf: I was reading Edith Piaf's autobiography recently and I could relate to it. She was singing on the streets of Paris at 16. I was singing on the streets of London. There's a humanity you learn. It was about singing and making music for survival; in order to stay alive I sing, going into another world.

DD: The Magic Position is about an intense love affair from start to finish. How did being in love change you and the way you make music?
PW: All I have is a document of this optimistic period. Before I met Ingrid, I was communicating through wilderness. It's like when two negatives come together to make a positive. It transformed me into a major.

DD: You said making the album nearly killed you. Is making music a visceral experience for you?
PW: I always like to feel it's like an exorcism, something that I had to get out of me.

DD: At your gig at the Bloomsbury Theatre, you played your old songs with your somber black hair. Then after an intermission you came out with bleached hair and played songs from The Magic Position. Was it like shedding an old persona and taking on a new one? Does your appearance reflect what you do musically?
PW: It was like murdering "The Wine In The Wires" project and presenting to the world a new side of myself.