‘Paris’ (lyrics) is a curious track.
It’s similar to ‘Don’t Say No’ and ‘Lycanthropy’, in that its chorus functions as a self-help mantra. It’s another song in which Patrick addresses himself, lending himself steel and spine and perseverance.
More interestingly, the song also functions, in a way, as the origin story of ‘Patrick Wolf’, the persona. In five minutes we get start-to-finish, the tale of Patrick, self-pitying, fighting off vicious schoolboys with the help of a lawyer, only to escape to Paris. There he encounters a medium near the grave of Hector Berlioz, who tells him to change his last name to Wolf. I know, right?
On the musical side of things, I quite like how the verses are a chaotic mess of beats and noise, with Patrick’s voice struggling to get to the surface, while the choruses are rather beautiful, accented by accordion and strings.
Patrick’s need to assume agency in his own narrative is front and centre here – in the philosophy of Lycanthropy, the ability to let go of pain and come to joy is “all in the palm of your hand” – defined by your will to run, to reinvent yourself, to burn away what isn’t working and push forward.