Album Review: Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend

Joe Smith reviews Wolf Alice's magnificent third album

Joe Smith
4th June 2021
On Blue Weekend, Wolf Alice have traversed towering mountains and crashing waves to create an album fuelled entirely by emotion. It’s dusted with scattered anxieties, passionate moments of rage and melancholic acceptance. Here Wolf Alice have opened up, their doubts and joys take centre stage as they bare all.  It might just be their greatest work yet.

Beginning with ‘The Beach’, we’re instantly introduced to a more subdued side of the band, one we haven’t really seen since 2014’s Creature Songs, but it’s certainly nice to see it return. Ellie Rowsell's vocals are as powerful as ever, with her distinct tones layered atop of one and other as she guides the track into an emphatic climax.

Despite a slower start, Blue Weekend isn’t only ethereal acoustics. The spiritual successor to 2017’s ‘Yuk Foo’ finds itself under the alias of ‘Smile’. Brash and bold, this tune explodes into life with reverb heavy guitars, rampant drums, and Rowsell’s snarling vocals. It’s been carefully sculpted for the mosh pits, whilst managing to not lose itself to the ferocity. It remains an important staple of the album, where Rowsell pushes her true feelings to the foreground, removing all precursors of her timid demeanour.

On ‘How Can I Make It Okay’ we’re treated to plucky instrumentals, and echoing vocals over a surprisingly dancey beat. It’s all a bit Enya-esque, but what’s not to love about that? ‘Play The Greatest Hits’ makes things heavier again, with a gleeful clapping beat, and a visceral vocal delivery, it’s old school punk at its finest. Blue Weekend breaks all genre boundaries, no two songs are the same, nor even sound remotely similar, with this perhaps being a testament to the producer Marcus Straus, who helped the band incorporate new sounds and ideologies into their music.

Blue Weekend is an ode to emotion. Wolf Alice are now at their boldest and bravest.  It’ll always be a risk to lay yourself out so openly on a record millions will listen to, but when it pays off it’s close to perfection. Beautiful, noisey perfection.

(4.5/5)

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