Remi Wolf, a South Bay native now residing in Los Angeles, is an exceptional young artist to say the least. At just 17 years old, Wolf auditioned for season 13 of the popular singing competition show “American Idol” — and while she made it past the first round, Wolf was eliminated in Hollywood soon after. Clearly, however, this did not stop her. The young singer moved to LA soon after the show, releasing her debut single “Guy” only last year.
From there, for a fresh-on-the-scene artist in LA, it’s been nothing but up. Wolf has since released her debut EP You’re a Dog!, along with follow-up singles “Woo!,” “Photo ID” and now “Disco Man.” The singer’s style has undeniable influences in R&B, yet remains polished in a particular “PC pop” sound. This genre has been popular among LA-based artists, notably Charli XCX and Slayyyter, but Wolf takes quite a different approach in utilizing the PC pop sound. In “Disco Man,” she leans heavily on a funky, R&B-derived bassline that carries her melody through most of the track.
The record feels like an ode to a particular type of guy Wolf describes on the track — someone who, according to Wolf, has everything figured out. “Said that he’s a disco man/ And he’s got a lot of fiscal plans.” She doesn’t fawn, however, instead maintaining a mystique that complements the roots of women in the R&B and soul genres. It calls back to pioneers such as Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin, front-runners of their genre and seemingly influences to Wolf. While these are apparent, the track still feels uniquely Wolf’s own, carried by her strong, blunt voice, which dances through a catchy pop melody.
The track is feel-good in every sense of the word, resembling disco in its funk-happy rhythm and playful content. It quickly becomes apparent when listening to Wolf traverse such complex production with ease that, despite her young age, she’s well-versed in the technical craft of creating a polished record. Never does she feel out of her element; Wolf commands the track poignantly throughout.
While Wolf seems comfortable in the lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek nature of “Disco Man,” it’s always interesting to see an artist step outside of their norm. There’s no denying Wolf’s aptitude in creating this record, yet it seems to too comfortably reside and blend with her previous work. The track lacks invention and offers no step forward for Wolf, despite its catchy and clever composition.
What “Disco Man” lacks in challenge, however, makes up for with heart. This is a track that feels like a cool breath of fresh air in a much polluted sonic ecosystem. Wolf’s voice is heavy and unmistakable, defining her style as one of the more unique ones on the market today. Wolf has, as many young artists do, the power to define and pave a musical style uniquely her own, just as her predecessors have. As a listener, this is one of the most exciting things Wolf has to offer — and hopefully, “Disco Man” is just the beginning.