The enigmatic, frequently masked Manchester rock collective WU LYF appear to have broken up, at least if their kinda-cryptic internet messages are to be believed. Over the weekend, the band posted a new song, a bigger-than-life pound called “T R I U M P H,” on YouTube. And with the video, frontman Ellery James Roberts left text indicating that he’s done with the band, and that he maybe thought he was under more scrutiny than he actually was.

This is bad news! WU LYF were a Band To Watch way the hell back in 2010, and their sole album, 2011′s epic churn Go Tell Fire To The Mountain, had spirit and intensity going for it. If this really is the end, it’ll go down as one of the great one-and-dones in recent indie rock history. Below, listen to “T R I U M P H” and read the full text of Roberts’s letter.

By the time I wrote this I was all ready gone. You know you aint got nothing but time, but time isn’t an infinite currency I want to see wasted. If this is our last month living, apocalypse looming, I am not going to spend my final hours waiting in purgatory. I am done. There is nothing here that inspires/ interests me beyond the emptiness for dreams. and I don’t want to spend my life asleep; dreaming of a….

Wake up! We stay safe/ everything is golden/ in this place.

WU LYF is dead to me. The sincerity of “Go tell fire” was lost in the bull shit of maintaining face in the world we live. Clap your hands chimp everybody’s watching. A year spent losing faith; Innocence lost wide eyes see clear the dark. There’s blood running down streets of every city in the world, what’s a song to do, pretend it mean everything/nothing to you. Another distraction from the world we live. I and I struggle for a based positivity; Get free or die trying; J C Hung him self up for the easy way out. so Broken Mama Cita be kind to me.

P E O are P L E the world over. Your beautiful and strange, and I love you. But The Great Longings calling and I’m young and free enough to try and answer.

Ellery James Roberts

I am gone. This isn’t the end. This is the begging.
We done business to be as free as we want to be; I’m exercising this freedom. Manchester and the life we maintaining is leaving me empty. It is a beautiful/ incredible/ insane world we live and I’m done walking round in baby step circles in a self involved bubble. WU LYF isn’t that important. So go do what you want to do. If you wanna play together, Play! your talented musicians so don’t waste that. I am bored of the most challenging thing in WU LYF being deluding myself of its relevance. Dirty free, as that show ended it concreted my decision that a change has to come. “Be the change you want to see” said a wise old man.
I’m going to keep on doing what I do; if the time comes in the future where we all truly want to collaborate on something then that door is always going to be open; I have nothing but love for you all.

But I want to live life that’s true to me.

Stay safe
your Brother from another mother…

(I’m gonna stay on email so keep in touch.)

Comments (8)
  1. Ugh, I really liked these guys. Hopefully this is just a new approach leading up to the new album like how they were super cryptic leading up to their first…


  3. Damn, Go Tell Fire was my favorite album of 2011. Please tell me this is another publicity stunt!

  4. I’ve never disliked a band as people but liked their music so much.

  5. Go Tell Fire was a decent album. Decent. No where as good as what they hype made it out to be. This band was interesting to a lot of people because of their manufactured mysteriousness and the let’s-get-PR-by-faking-like-we’re-against-PR game. It’s a marketing tactic of deliberate obfuscation and their appeal is surface over substance. WU LYF are managed by Warren Bramley, founder of the Four23 ad agency, whose clients have included Adidas, Reebok, and Virgin.

    MOST importantly, their music is not important. There’s not much memorable about their songs besides the fact that you can’t understand most of the lyrics and the dude’s voice is really gravelly. Not to say that unintelligible lyrics and gravelly voices are inherently bad – they’re not…some of my favorite artists full in either category. But what else is there? They sound like a drunk Coldplay minus the sense of hooks and melodies (but with all the trite drivel Coldplay has to offer) with a young Tom Waits forced to sing.

    The band became more unlikable to me for their constant publicity stunt bullshit and pretension…if they had really original, important music to back it, I wouldn’t be typing. Shit, I’m pretty sure at this point that Wayne Coyne is a media whore sociopath but the Flaming Lips have made so much unique and special music that it really doesn’t bother me what type of people they are.

    Wanna be the next WU LYF?

    1. Come up with simple, boring pop arrangements for instruments you’re not particularly excellent at and record in a church. *Make sure everyone knows you recorded in a church.

    2. Sing (bark) deliberately unintelligible, cliche lyrics about blood and crowns and fire and do it in a voice that is grating enough to border avant-garde tolerable enough to resemble Tom Waits. A lot of gullible critics love it when you work really hard to sound like you don’t give a shit about sounding like anything.

    3. Get a marketing guru with connections as your manager and play a residency at the cafe that his company owns (Outlet is where they played, it’s run by Four23). Have him help you make a “cryptic” website, band image, press responses, etc.

    4. Let the sheep come running…ignore them at first so they think you’re too cool for a human response, then do the TV spots, do the commercials, etc.

    5. Realize you’re a phony and break up the band.

  6. “apocalypse looming….final hours” for fucks sake man, do you think i would be going to my job tomorrow if it were this certain? do you think tom would be spending his “final hours” writing this article. maybe your just not into the band? and you have probably been doing too many drugs. were not judging. we have all been there. did you know that i havent listened to amnesiac since it came out because i was so fucked up at that point in my life. lets just say i was playing a lot of disc golf. anyways…i put it on last week and the shit is like a greatest hits album. so, i guess what im saying is that some pretty great shit might happen… if we dont all die soon.

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