Wolf Alice are unavoidable within the British indie scene. Winning the coveted Mercury Prize back in 2018 with their second album Visions of a Life whilst also securing a Grammy nomination, the band are no strangers to producing award winning tracks.
Blue Weekend begins slow. The opening track, The Beach, commences with a distant drum which transcends into a harmonic strumming layered by Ellie Rowsell’s intricate vocals. Wolf Alice pay homage to Macbeth as the first lines ring “When will we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, and rain?” Classical literature appears prevalent in the band’s history with their name originating in a short story of Angela Carter’s entitled Wolf Alice.
The album progresses into the track Delicious Things. The group’s lyrical abilities shine bright as the detail riddled words flow flawlessly alongside the instrumental. Their ability to build a narrative is one of the band’s strong points, bringing these characters to the forefront constructing a clear visual image. Delicious Things demonstrates the relatable inkling often found within Wolf Alice’s discography. “I’m no longer pulling pints, I’m no longer cashing tills.” The track conveys the euphoric feeling of achieving a dream.
Blue Weekend is more sentimental in comparison to the band’s previous two albums. Both My Love is Cool and Visions of a life had the feeling of experimentation as the band explore the full range of their sound. Blue Weekend however feels complete, dipping into a myriad of genres that encompass their abilities.
Despite an emphasis on slower more emotional tracks, a Wolf Alice album would not be complete without a raging anger-filled song. Fourth track Smile has all the qualities of previous Wolf Alice tracks including Moaning Lisa Smile and Yuk Foo. Roswell’s surprising screams are enticing as they accompany the intense deep bass. Her lyrics in their fourth track Smile are prominent as she yells “Don’t call me mad. There’s a difference, I am angry. And your choice to call me cute has offended me.” The lyrics pierce deep as its depiction expresses a familiar feeling for many.
Blue Weekend’s highlight comes from How Can I Make it Okay? Released a day prior to the album, the track does not inherently feel like a conventional Wolf Alice track. A repetitive synth introduces the track as backing vocals, similar to that of Haim, accompany Roswell’s ethereal pitch. It is hard to put into words what makes How Can I Make it Okay? so great. It feels like the accumulation of work that the group have previously released lead up to the track and encompasses the prodigious sound they have now created.
It is hard to find a fault in Blue Weekend. As a fan of the band my opinion may be biased, however it is hard to ignore the range, fullness and overall enjoyment that is experienced when listening to the album. The lyricism is unmatched, and Roswell’s vocals are more versatile than ever. I feel satisfied with Blue Weekend and feel that if anyone is questioning their love of indie music, please listen to this album.
Written by Abbie Aitken