- 04 Jun 21
The London four-piece embody sharp writing on late-'20s anxieties on their most enthralling body of work to date.
Attempting to top 2017’s Mercury Prize winning album Visions of a Life was never going to be easy, but Blue Weekend is otherworldly, jubilant and downright riotous enough to push the golden crown from their sophomore album’s near-perfect head.
After previewing the Kurt Vonnegut-inspired single ‘The Last Man On Earth’ - full of smart songwriting and observations about the arrogance of humankind on frontwoman Ellie Rowsell’s part - and guttural guitar-riff gem ‘Smile’; Blue Weekend proceeds to showcase one of Britain’s brightest bands at their best.
“I am what I am and I’m good at it,” broods Ellie Rowsell on 'Smile', “and you don’t like me, well that isn’t fucking relevant.” It's a good thing we like her, then. She's not wrong about being good at it.
Embroiling their listeners in a rich cocktail of emotions, soundscapes and subject matter, Wolf Alice place Rowsell’s elegant vocals at the emotive forefront of the album. Her voice is used as a raw and vicious instrument at times, and an angelic force for calm within other tracks. Either way, we are powerless - compelled to listen to her every confession, every scrutinised statement, every sonic utterance.
Up-tempo tracks like ‘Play the Greatest Hits’ takes inspiration from the likes of the Ramones, Joan Jett and Courtney Love, drawing us into Wolf Alice’s brand of modern punk. Magical down-tempo numbers like ‘The Beach’ and the incredible ‘Delicious Things’ explore identity and trying to belong in Los Angeles, using orchestral harmonies and booming background instrumentals to lift the listener into another universe entirely. Each riveting, swirling song completely grips the audience.
The album title comes from Rowsell’s assertion that the weekend is a time of both deep sadness and relentless drama; essentially, it can be the catalyst for a downfall. One thing’s for certain: Wolf Alice aren’t going anywhere but stratospheric. Blue Weekend is their best body of work yet, a comeback worthy of stages re-opening. Catch Rowsell, Joff Oddie, Joel Amey and Theo Ellis live, if you get a chance post-pandemic. This is one special band...
Read Hot Press' interview with Wolf Alice in our forthcoming issue - landing next Thursday, June 10th.
Blue Weekend arrived on June 4 via Dirty Hit Records. Stream it below: