Taking its name from an ancient pagan festival to purify health and the city, Patrick Wolf’s fifth album finds the notoriously obtuse singer in a newly joyous mood. Lupercalia strips away the conflicted rawness and theatrical aestheticism, replacing it with humble themes of urban domesticity and love. The pop melodies are bolstered with oom-pah horns and lush strings, but the lyrics are emotionally expansive and the songs have room to breathe. Bermondsey Street is an anthem of bisexuality and the universality of love, while Patrick extols ‘scatter my ashes on this place’ in forthcoming single House. It’s not a death lament but an ode to life; the album’s working title says it all: The Conqueror.