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Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend (Album Review)

Friday, 11 June 2021 Written by Graeme Marsh

You could argue that when Wolf Alice took home the 2018 Mercury Prize for ‘Visions of a Life’ they did so with the lesser of their first two records, with 2015’s brilliant debut ‘My Love is Cool’ making do with only a nomination. ‘Blue Weekend’ seems certain to add another chapter to this particular story.

Album three is centred around love and relationships, with Ellie Rowsell’s lyrics taking on a more personal perspective and the band’s well-renowned eclecticism receding to reveal a more fully-formed identity. Rowsell continues to grow as a storyteller, songwriter and singer, and at times the LP feels like a showcase for her stunning performances.

‘Blue Weekend’ sets the bar mighty high straight from the off. Opener The Beach is awash with beauty and Rowsell’s vocal fragility is just divine as the track builds to a soaring conclusion.

Delicious Things is another winner as a perfect chord sequence and shoegazey intro contribute to another superb cut. Lipstick on the Glass is similarly gorgeous, and the powerful single Smile creates an astounding cinematic swell.

So, where do you go from here? Fortunately, the rest of the journey is well worth taking too. Ballad The Last Man on Earth benefits from a familiar Wolf Alice chorus while Feeling Myself moves from subtle organ to a wall of shoegaze noise. Safe From Heartbreak (If You Never Fall in Love) throws out a beautiful melody, as does the quite excellent Pond-esque How Can I Make It OK. On both, Rowsell excels again.

The band claim that the record flows together well, resulting in a number of decent songs missing out, but Play The Greatest Hits doesn’t quite fit the mould and could easily have been omitted for a greater overall sense of cohesion. Aside from that, ‘Blue Weekend’ is a triumph. Wolf Alice have taken 10 years to get here but it’s been worth every minute.

Wolf Alice Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu July 22 2021 - BOURNEMOUTH O2 Academy Bournemouth
Wed January 05 2022 - GLASGOW Barrowland Ballroom
Fri January 07 2022 - GLASGOW Barrowland Ballroom
Sat January 08 2022 - GLASGOW Barrowland Ballroom
Sun January 09 2022 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 City Hall
Mon January 10 2022 - NORWICH Nick Rayns LCR
Wed January 12 2022 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Thu January 13 2022 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Fri January 14 2022 - SHEFFIELD O2 Academy Sheffield
Sat January 15 2022 - LIVERPOOL O2 Academy Liverpool
Tue January 18 2022 - LONDON Eventim Apollo
Wed January 19 2022 - LONDON Eventim Apollo
Sat January 22 2022 - SOUTHAMPTON O2 Guildhall
Sun January 23 2022 - BEXHILL ON SEA De La Warr Pavilion
Mon January 24 2022 - DUBLIN Olympia Theatre
Tue January 25 2022 - DUBLIN Olympia Theatre
Thu January 27 2022 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Fri January 28 2022 - PLYMOUTH Pavilions
Sun January 30 2022 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Mon January 31 2022 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol

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