Can’t Take It Much Longer, the latest release by Ulysses Wells, is staggeringly good. Each song is linked by his grittily addictive voice, but not much else; from the crushing bass and screeching guitar of Fooled, to the meandering and comforting Drift On Out Of Sight, the four song strong EP is a masterclass in being unique. An explosion of styles and influences signify a range and diversity to Ulysses Wells that is honestly breathtaking.
First up comes Drift on Out Of Sight, a mesmerisingly gentle song which feels akin to the last days of summer; a song to fade into as you reflect halcyon days gone by. Ulysses’ ethereal vocals are left exposed over the stripped back acoustic guitar, and the sudden injections of harmony in the chorus are almost heavenly in their haunting beauty. This is the token ‘happy song’; the EP only gets gloriously darker from here.
Next up is Can’t Take It Much Longer, which sounds as if it would be perfect for both the canals of Venice and the dance floors of London. A sudden influx of accordions and guitar gives way to outbursts of emotions, as Ulysses belts out his frustrations, before falling almost despondently silent. It is a truly brilliant inclusion in this new body of work, if a puzzling one — and annoyingly addictive in its spiralling complexities.
You Walked Out, however, is near macabre in tone. From the outset, with smashing cymbals and both distorted and whispered vocals, the song refuses to relent. Heartbreakingly powerful vocals emerge over a disturbingly bleak soundscape; each word seems torn, bloody and vitriolic, from closed lips, and leaves you battered and bruised from the brutality.
Finally comes Fooled; pounding drums and crushing bass galore in this, the lead single. Verses lull you unwittingly into a false sense of confidence that is torn away by the tearful passion evident in his broken voice during the chorus; “I’ve been locked in your lust / lost in your dust” Ulysses cries, before tearing into a screeching guitar solo that only adds to the delicious discordance. A tremendous blast of ferocity that screams of more to come.
Having recently signed with Woody from Bastille, after a stint supporting them and occasionally joining them on stage — most notably for Blame, at the prestigious O2 Brixton Academy — as well as supporting the likes of Barns Courtney, Ulysses Wells is destined for great things; and hopefully, unlike his namesake, it won’t take Ulysses ten years to get to his rightful place on the throne.