WU LYF

By
Photography David Burton

Published July 26, 2013

WU LYF is the perfect—and perhaps only—example of what can happen when a band successfully combines paganism, ambiguously cultish propaganda, fake names, and a healthy dollop of cavernous space-rock with lyrics sung by someone who sounds like a baby caveman. The Manchester band’s name—an acronym for World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation—first captured the imagination of the feverish U.K. music press back in January of 2010, when the four-piece launched a Tumblr page and appeared to explode onto the music blogosphere almost overnight. The sudden fascination was fueled by the fact that the band routinely declined interviews and appeared to feed misinformation about themselves to the media (e.g., hiding the name of their manager by referring to him only as War God). Eventually the band began to the find the rampant speculation about their identity to be more of a hindrance than a help, and it was revealed that WU LYF was not, in fact, a cult of Satanists intent on global domination, but simply four young Mancunians intent on creating their own very specific musical and visual universe—a universe characterized by reverby guitars, howling vocals, and exploding drums. This month, the band’s self-produced album Go Tell Fire To The Mountain (L Y F Recordings) will finally get a proper stateside release and WU LYF will find themselves playing to audiences around the world. “We like to keep things quite pure and raw,” says baby-faced yet gravelly voiced front man Ellery Roberts. “If we’d signed to a record label, our album would have likely sounded very different. As it is, this record is the sound of what four 19-year-olds left to their own devices in an old church in Manchester for three weeks with no authority can come up with. We hope people like it.”

PHOTO: WU LYF IN MANCHESTER, JULY 2011. ALL CLOTHING: ARTISTS’ OWN. SPECIAL THANKS: AN OUTLET