The four-piece Merz, Miller & the Wolves round out a traditional rock sound with left-field instruments like banjo, flute, and clarinet.
The group’s most recent album, the aptly titled Wolf in Quarantine, opens with “The Wolf,” a wanderlusty hoedown of a song that tells the tale of a restless Canis lupus. A circular banjo figure opens the track, anchored by plodding, half-time bass; vocalist Leslie Miller introduces us to our hero, who’s “on the move on a seaside road/leaving his old life with a hard goodbye.” Soon, the bass line doubles up its pace to match the pickin’, and we’re off. Miller’s voice soars as it’s joined by Isaac Merz’s harmonies and some ghostly howling; the wolf continues on, knocking nails in New York, crying at the moon, watching rain clouds gather, and facing down existential fears. It’s a pleasure to join him on his quest.