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Song You Need to Know: Wolf & Cub, ‘Blue State’

Returning with their first new single in seven years, “Blue State” serves as a taster of the forthcoming Wolf & Cub album, NIL.

Seven years on from their last album, Adelaide rockers Wolf & Cub have returned with “Blue State”, the first taste of their forthcoming fourth record.

Rising to fame at the middle of the ’00s, and helping to put the South Australian music scene on the map throughout the decade, Wolf & Cub’s last record emerged back in 2013 by way of Heavy Weight, which spawned singles such as “Salao” and “I Need More”.

Now, the group are on track to release their long-awaited fourth album, with new single “Blue State” serving as a mighty return to form. A dark, abrasive cut that sees the group move away from their psych-rock sound in favour of something heavier than what fans are used to.

Born out of a shared appreciation of ’80s hardcore bands such as Black Flag and Bad Brains, the rhythmic, throbbing bassline helps to cement the five-minute belter, while powerful vocals and distorted guitars help to make this one of the most ferocious tracks from Wolf & Cub to date.

“I grew up in a blue collar town; my father was raised to be a working class man,” notes singer Joel Byrne as he reflects on the themes of class appropriation and cultural divide in the song. “But my upbringing was very different to his.

“He had expectations for us that we should attend university and have opportunities that he considered valuable because they weren’t offered to him. And now this has been flipped. We’ve appropriated his upbringing and his experience and wear the blue collar tag like a badge of honour. It’s interesting to see other artists channel it so overtly.”

“Blue State” is set to be released on Wolf & Cub’s fourth album, NIL, which was self-produced by the band, and released via Byrne’s Part Time Records label. While the album serves as something of a new chapter in the group’s life, it also serves as way for fans to welcome their newest member, acclaimed drummer Jonathan Boulet.

“My measurement for Wolf & Cub’s success in my late-thirties is significantly different from what it was at the beginning of our career,” Byrne says, explaining the level of freedom the band showcase in the track. “There’s no burden of expectation here.”

Wolf & Cub’s “Blue State” is out today via Part Time Records/Remote Control.