Posted March 2, 2021 by Jeff in Tunes

Brit Rockers Wolf Alice Refine Their Sound on New Album

Wolf Alice by Jordan Hemingway
Wolf Alice by Jordan Hemingway

British indie rock act Wolf Alice, winner of the Mercury Prize 2018 for their last album Visions of Life, releases its third album, Blue Weekend, on June 1 via Dirty Hit/RCA Records.

The single “The Last Man On Earth” premiered as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World on BBC Radio 1.

“‘The Last Man On Earth’ is an evocative return, finding Wolf Alice blurring the lines between classic songwriting, graceful atmosphere and their signature pin-sharp choruses,” reads a press release. “It is a song full of poise and confidence, the work of a band who raise the bar with every single release. Lead singer Ellie Rowsell is an artist with a rare songwriting gift — the ability to tread the fine line between consummate storyteller and confessional lyricist.”

The song arrives with a black and white video by director Jordan Hemingway (Gucci, Raf Simons, Comme Des Garçons) featuring Rowsell in the spotlight.

“It’s about the arrogance of humans,” says Rowsell of the tune. “I’d just read Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, and I had written the line ‘peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god’ in my notes. But then I thought, ‘Uh, your peculiar travel suggestion isn’t a dancing lesson from god, it’s just a travel suggestion! Why does everything need to mean something more?’”

Wolf Alice launched a decade ago as a duo before expanding to a four-piece. Since then, the band’s popularity has steadily increased. In 2018, it played a massive 187 shows on the Visions of a Life world tour.

It was no surprise that creating a follow-up to Visions of a Life was a daunting task. The record was a huge success, which subsequently led to many months spent on tour with intercontinental flights, hotels and long-bus journeys taking a toll on the band.

The band decamped to an Airbnb in Somerset, and it was there that it reconfigured itself and those demos evolved into Blue Weekend, a record produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Björk, Brian Eno, Florence + the Machine) who aided the band in refining its sound to an even sharper point. Rowsell’s personal storytelling is at the core of Blue Weekend, an album that sees Wolf Alice embrace a newfound boldness and vulnerability in equal measure.

Photo by Jordan Hemingway


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at jeff@whopperjaw.net.