WATGB: Fables & Fairy Tales In The Realm Of The Liverbird

To coincide with their new monthly residency on the MDR airwaves, We Are The Girl Bands? offer us a monthly glimpse into what they’ve been up to & what’s caught their attention over the past 30 days…

During the month of August, we at Where are the Girlbands found ourselves thrown into the fairy-tale worlds of Sara Wolff and Loris and the Lion. Although the two performed alongside each other at Loris and the Lion’s EP Release gig, we met the musicians on different paths as we interviewed Sara Wolff for an upcoming podcast and wrote a long and winding review for Loris and the Lion’s debut EP ‘Jorinde and Joringel’. We found ourselves dwelling on how both of these artists use the magic and macabre of fairy-tales to express complex feeling, completely enchanted by the worlds crafted by their music.

Upon first listen to both Sara Wolff’s ‘When You Left the Room’ and Loris and the Lion’s ‘Jorinde and Joringel’ I felt that the musicians had created a perfect plane for escapism. When falling into their voices through my air pods on the 82 out of town, I felt a departure from the commercial and concrete landscape of L1 to someplace ethereal and unreal, the rough seat of an old Stagecoach bus was replaced by the feeling of a mossy pathway under bare feet. Their dedication to otherworldly imagery, from myths to magic to direct references to well-known wonderlands allowed me to completely drift into a different life, take on the complex emotions they expressed (from rage to love to loss) through the sugar coated tablet of a beautifully described distant land of cotton socks and trails of breadcrumbs. 

In our interview, I asked Sara whether her hometown of Bergen finds its way into the visceral imagery of her songs as I felt more so surrounded by mountains and greens when listening to her EP than the terraced streets and alleyways I associate with my hometown of Liverpool. However, upon reflection I now feel that the Liverpool home where these songs were created is more tied up in fairy tales than I previously thought. Liverpool is a city wrapped up in storytelling, from the fable of the mythical creatures that sit atop the Three Graces, to the way a scouser can spin the most fantastic tale, the fact we are a town rooted in the sea and the stories that have crashed onto our shores along with the waves over its long history, our strong morals that come tumbling out of arl fellas mouths in strong phrases and stories past. It seems only natural for the music made here to sink into something mythic and magic, and Sara Wolff and Loris and the Lion do so absolutely beautifully. 

Sara Wolff is a Bergen-born singer songwriter whose music is bittersweet and brilliant, conveying complex feelings from anger to loss to giving people a taste of their own medicine – all coated in sugary sweet lyrics and the haunting quality of an old folk melody. There is real power in her soft and sweet delivery of lyrics that contain anger and condemnation. Sara Wolff believes that often women aren’t given space to express these emotions and uses song writing to reclaim them through the lens of a bittersweet tale. Sara Wolff’s track “cotton socks” perfectly encapsulates this feeling as she walks a line of care and condemnation with lyrics that speak of bumble bees and toffee hearts to the melody of something more sinister.

Loris and the Lion also walk this line between something eerie and ethereal. If you are a fan of Kate Bush, are drawn to all things enchanted and otherworldly, and are searching for music that will carry you away like Alice into Wonderland, their debut EP ‘Jorinde and Joringel’ is the gateway to another land you have been looking for. Their music is filled with the most exquisite lyrics that take you to a woodland environment through fragile piano, swarming strings and gossamer melodies. Their storytelling is carried through every element of their music from melody to lyrics to the visuals that accompany their EP, leaving you completely convinced by the web of some wonderous world that they spin around you.

What really stuck with me about both of these artists is how, while they speak in the tongue of Brother’s Grimm, they also speak on very real and universal feelings, capturing the essence of a fable in their words of warning and wonder. In a way all song writing works this way, as fable. Songs are how we learn the lessons of others through their lyrics waxing on heartbreak and loving and learning and losing and all the things in between.

If you haven’t listened to Sara Wolff’s ‘When You Left the Room’ and Loris and the Lion’s ‘Jorinde and Joringel’ now is the time, you can find their music on all streaming platforms and more about them via instagram @saraw0lff and @lorisandthelion. You can find regular reviews and content that celebrates women on the Liverpool music scene via our Instagram account @wherearethegirlbands and make sure to check out our monthly episode on Melodic Distraction radio!

Spotify link to Sara Wolff’s EP: https://open.spotify.com/album/5JZ08O0BCowh3GcL8LqiZV?si=kzfQwTYBRCu8-RcVFOrUrg&dl_branch=1 

Spotify link to Loris and the Lion’s EP: https://open.spotify.com/album/4arrTCraxJkqGMa7TvvFev?si=AxGPAgcaT8WazyUw64m6Uw&dl_branch=1 

Link to our review of Jorinde and Joringel: https://www.instagram.com/p/CTKr0gpso5Z/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link