Album: Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend review

by Alannah Williams

Back with their third full length, Wolf Alice have delivered a dreamy soundscape of soulful ballads and guitar driven punk cuts. Never ones to shy away from experimentation, their ambitious attitude allows them to slip between genres effortlessly

Jumping from pop-punk to country and folk-rock, their aspirations were met with the production of Blue Weekend. Heartfelt lyrics and angelic vocals shine – with their maturity as a band glaring through in the tales they tell and the way they’ve composed themselves.

Beautifully bold and contemporary, their potent style is infectious. Frontwoman, Ellie Rowsell, has an outstanding ability to create an enthralling narrative through poetic lyricism and sensual vocal flourishes  – and this latest masterpiece is a sure front runner for their best one yet.

Opening the album, The Beach offers a delicate reintroduction to the band with soft vocals and Hamlet inspired lyrics. Bringing in the use of angelic chorus, the track comes to a swelling crescendo before melting into Delicious Things. Wild and starry eyed, it tempts at stardom with – ‘a girl like me / would you believe / in Los Angeles,’ nodding at wildest fantasies and the ultimate dreams.

Lipstick On The Glass rings reminiscent of their My Love Is Cool days. Buzzing with a brilliant bass line and lush harmonies, Wolf Alice cement themselves with the ability to throw it back while still evolving. Safe From Heartbreak (if you never fall in love) pulls on soul influences – melodic and soaked with enchanting vocals – it acts as a confessional self-introspective and observational piece. In a unique twist, the song emerges in a shroud of twinkling guitar plucks. While arguably the showstopper, Play The Greatest Hits jumps back to Yuk Foo and You’re A Germ, but still maintaining their new, refined sound. Bombastic and utterly brilliant, the fast-paced adrenaline fuelled call to arms is backed by a grunge infused drumbeat and Rowsell’s shrieking vocals – her repetitive exclamations running throughout with ‘It isn’t loud enough! It isn’t loud enough!’

Lead single, The Last Man On Earth offers a stripped back, raw glance into the powerful ballads that the band can produce. Striking vocals take centre stage as we soar through a shoegaze soundscape that could only be created by Rowsell’s mind. Segueing perfectly into the blissful sound of No Hard Feelings, the track explores heartbreak and ending relationships through stunning harmonies, delicate guitar picks and an inescapable riff. It’s the long-lost cousin of Don’t Delete The Kisses and the band do it incredible justice. Before the bookend of The Beach II offers a stark contrast to its opening counterpart. More upbeat, and wildly majestic, the echoey cut is straight out of Lana Del Rey’s playbook – and is the perfect way to end the saga.

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