Aby Wolf’s musical migration

Twin Cities songstress Aby Wolf goes electro with her new project A. Wolf and Her Claws.

Aby Wolf talks about her process, musical style, and future plans. She will be performing a free show Wedneday at Northrop Plaza.

Zoe Prinds-Flash

Aby Wolf talks about her process, musical style, and future plans. She will be performing a free show Wedneday at Northrop Plaza.

by Raghav Mehta


These days, Twin Cities singer-songwriters are about as common as a hipster on a fixie. And much like hipsters, itâÄôs hard to distinguish between the hoards of coffee shop artistes that saturate our music scene.

Illinois native Aby Wolf has been one of the few exceptions to that rule. SheâÄôs made a triumphant transition from local newcomer to beloved songstress at warp speed.

But despite her success, WolfâÄôs ditched the folk shtick. Her latest project, A. Wolf and Her Claws, is a digital amalgamation of fuzzy bass lines, Nintendo-like synths and stomp-and-clap percussion that sees the Twin CitiesâÄô darling bringing her creative tropes to a place far weirder and more adventurous.

Founded last winter, Wolf takes the helm alongside a seasoned crew of local performers that includes Jesse Whitney (formerly of Dance Band) Linnea Mohn (Rogue Valley, Alpha Centauri) and Joey Van Phillips (Mystery Palace). Wolf said she enjoys the change of pace and values the collaborative component of the project.

âÄúI like having to leave space for people and their ideas,âÄù Wolf said. âÄúIt makes you work on your communication skills and also helps you with maintaining your own vision while being open to other peopleâÄôs. It all feels like a good thing.âÄù

While the groupâÄôs still in the process of working out the kinks on their upcoming LP âÄî expected to be released November âÄî âÄúA. Wolf and Her ClawsâÄù have been performing regularly, making appearances everywhere from DessaâÄôs âÄúHip Hop CadenceâÄù series at the Guthrie to opening for local songwriter Adam Svec. Listening to some of the early material, itâÄôs no wonder why WolfâÄôs new project has been gaining traction so quickly.

On the futuristic pop romp âÄúZero,âÄù Wolf croons over a brute-force club beat as an arsenal of electronic clutter erupts around her. It all builds toward an infectious chorus with Wolf singing: âÄúTwo years have passed floating on an idle sea/my eyes have closed content with the slightest breeze/warm water, warm sun, itâÄôs been the stuff of dreams/but my muse lives in winter and she misses me.âÄù

Wolf always wanted to write pop music but never entertained the idea with any degree of seriousness.

âÄúI grew up listening to [expletive] pop so I wanted to stay away from that for a long time because I thought it was vapid and I didnâÄôt consider it a legitimate influence,âÄù Wolf said. âÄúI knew there would be a time where I would go back to popâÄù

It was a musical leap that she was more than willing to take. While Wolf garnered a respectable following as a singer-songwriter, she never felt all that comfortable sitting behind a guitar.

âÄúI was feeling a little encumbered by just standing with a guitar and trying to deal with that on stage,âÄù Wolf said. So now it feels much more awesome to just be able to hold a mic and sing.âÄù