WU LYF (pronounced "Woo Life", stands for "World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation") were a band from Manchester, England that originally became known for creating a mystery about themselves by declining requests for interviews and not releasing much information to the press. The band describes their music as "heavy pop". Their manager, Warren Bramley, has previously worked with Tony Wilson at Factory Records.
WU LYF formed in the summer of 2008 in Rusholme, Manchester and comprises "Jeau" (Joe Manning), "Lung" (Tom McClung), "Elle Jaie" (Ellery Roberts) and "Evnse" (Evans Kati). The band began on a steady diet of local hardcore music, even starting their own record label titled Ridiculous Records. Having caught the attention of the UK music industry and press after making a series of early recordings available through their website, WU LYF began a monthly residency, entitled "Play Heavy Pop", at Manchester's An Outlet coffeehouse in December 2009. The band's first gig outside of Manchester came in July 2010 at the MIDI Festival on the French Riviera. Subsequent shows include France's Transmusicales Festival, Berlin's Transmediale festival and sold-out headline shows in Glasgow and London. In July 2010 the band announced the formation of the Lucifer Youth Foundation, giving new members an illustrated bandit mask and a 12" single featuring the tracks "Concrete Gold" and "Heavy Pop". The band started recording their debut album in November 2010 using the money generated by the L Y F membership scheme. Deciding against the conventional studio set up, they instead took over Saint Peter's church in Ancoats, Manchester, to record their album. The album is self-produced. The band declined all offers from established record labels and released their debut album, entitled Go Tell Fire To The Mountain, themselves on 13 June 2011 through the L Y F recordings imprint. In support of the record's release, the band played several dates in the UK to critical acclaim, culminating in the curation of the Great Bridgwater Street Tunnel as part of the Manchester International Festival.
The Making of Go Tell Fire to The Mountain:
The band had the concept for Go Tell Fire to The Mountain long before the recording process took place. Roberts states that it was written "in a narrative sense and was approached as a complete work rather than a bunch of songs thrown together." When searching for a place to record, the group was dissatisfied with the sound they were getting from traditional studios, leading them to settle on an old abandoned church in Manchester England. The amount of open airspace in the church allowed for a healthy dose of reverb, which is a critical part of the album's larger than life sound. Despite the media's insistence of the location's relevance to the religious theme of the band, Roberts denies it. Although the church altered the "vibe of the songs" the band asserts that Saint Peter's sonically fit the album's needs.
Much of the early press coverage on the band has focused on the fact that they do not know much about the band.The New York Observer described the phenomenon as "carefully designed anonymity". One critic highlighted their "ability to maintain mystique at a time when everything is out in the open". The NME has picked the band as one that is likely to define 2011.Stereogum featured WU LYF as a "Band To Watch" in May 2010. They were described as "The cult band of the moment in England" by Rolling Stone magazine in Italy. The Dutch magazine Kicking the Habit described them as sounding like "Tom Waits in a church under the guidance of stoned garage". The band appeared on BBC2's "Culture Show", showcasing a song off their recent album and conducting an interview. Recent press has become more concerned with WU LYF's intense, cathartic live show. Pitchfork Media gave Go Tell Fire to The Mountain an 8.4 rating and the Best New Music accolade, stating "WU LYF in the manner of Iceage or Odd Future as musicians that have made me genuinely excited about their potential impact on listeners, the same things that make them seem juvenile---the artistic and personal volatility, the semblance of a roving gang more than a band, the invitation to indulge in your most disturbing impulses and yet feel morally superior to an ill-defined majority---are the same things that feel totally galvanizing. And it's easy to imagine Go Tell Fire to the Mountain giving disaffected listeners the promise of an entry to something beyond themselves in a way that James Blake or Bon Iver can't.". BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe named "Dirt", the album's 7th song, the "Hottest Track in the World."
This Wikipedia page on the band has been deleted several times, which itself has been covered by the press.
Ellery James Roberts departure:
On 24 November 2012, a video for a new track appeared on YouTube accompanied by a supposed letter from lead singer Ellery Roberts, directed towards his band mates. It stated: "I am gone. This isn't the end. This is the beginning." At this moment in time it was unclear as to whether this was the end for WU LYF, however their Facebook page also disappeared around the same time the video surfaced. A new track titled "T R I U M P H" accompanied the letter, in which Roberts boldly announced, "WU LYF is dead to me."
Following his departure, the remaining WU LYF members continued on as Los Porcos, a former side-project, releasing 2 tracks in April 2013.
Ellery James Roberts -- Vocals, Organ,
Joe Manning -- Drums, Piano,
Evans Kati -- Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica,
Tom McClung -- Vocals, Bass, Guitar