By Nicholas Jason Lopez
With no mad hatters in sight, Toronto-based indie-pop solo sensation Wolf Saga recently debuted his new track “Alice In Nowhere Land,” taken from his self-titled album.
The song has been declared “a call to freedom – of both the mind and spirit,” as “Alice” is a woman who struggles to overcome social media’s superficiality in order to view her own unfiltered reality for what it is.
Compared to other indie-pop pioneers such as MGMT, M83 and Empire Of The Sun, Wolf Saga has been a common name on outlets like Sirius XM and CBC, where he has amassed over 3.3 million plays across streaming platforms.
The Wolf Saga name is a tribute to the spirit of the wolf, which in his Ojibwe culture, is known to protect its loved ones. Just like how it takes on any and all comers, so does he with personal subjects in his music, tackling issues like indigenous reparations, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with him about “Alice In Nowhere Land” and more.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Wolf Saga – For me, the most exciting aspect of the music I make is how each song can take on any path or trajectory, that I’m not restricted to a certain sound or structure.
Music Bugle – What directly inspired your “Wolf Saga” name?
Wolf Saga – When I was coming up with a name for this project, I wanted to incorporate some aspect of my culture – Ojibwe – and the Wolf came from that.
Music Bugle – How would you describe your song “Alice In Nowhere Land” in three words?
Wolf Saga – Topical, fun, pop.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your self-titled album?
Wolf Saga – It was surprisingly challenging. I knew I wanted to put these songs out into the world, together and I had been gathering ideas for a year or so about how and what I wanted to accomplish. Then, the world changed completely. This album ended up being a bit of a rush at first, but then a calm settled right before the release.
Music Bugle – What are three of your favorite albums?
Wolf Saga – David Bowie – ‘Let’s Dance,’ Foster The People – ‘Torches’ and M83 – ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.’
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Wolf Saga – I’ve been revisiting some older favorites lately. A standout has been Supertramp, especially the song “School.”
Music Bugle – What has been your most memorable moment while at a show?
Wolf Saga – I played an opening set at a sold-out show at the Opera House in Toronto. I had a skull ring on my right hand and I remember being beyond sweaty near the end of the set. I threw my hand out to acknowledge the crowd and the ring flew right off my finger and into the audience. Someone caught it mid-crowd. I asked for it back and he threw it back like a bullet. I, somehow, caught it perfectly and the audience lost it. Unconventional, but absolutely memorable.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?
Wolf Saga – My town has had a lot of talent come out of it – London, Ontario, Canada. The one thing that makes me feel proudest, though, is the stories I hear from my grandmother about her life growing up there, or about my father’s life there. It’s different, but that feeling like I’m cut from the same cloth as them, that’s the source of my hometown pride.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Wolf Saga – Helps 100 percent.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Wolf Saga – I recently just had an online concert performance canceled due to a new wave of restrictions in Ontario. We’ve been hit hard all over for the past year, though hopefully, the vaccine rollout signals a light at the end of the tunnel.
*Photo Credit – Michael Alexander*