A Light Shines On Wolf Alice
Four years after their last release, Wolf Alice are back better than ever with their brand-new single ‘The Last Man on Earth’.
Originally formed in London in 2010 as an acoustic duo which consisted of singer Ellie Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie, before welcoming bassist Theo Ellis and drummer Joel Amey. The Indie-Rock band have come a hell of a long way since performing at their first gig at Highbury Garage in December 2010 supporting April in the Shade. Following the release of their debut single ‘Fluffy’ in February 2013, and their 2014 single ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ - which peaked at number 9 on the US Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart in August 2015 as well as being nominated for the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance. Did I mention that their second studio album ‘Visions of a Life (released in September 2017) debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart! And if that wasn’t impressive enough it was ranked as one of the best albums of the year by multiple publications, winning the 2018 Mercury Prize!
With the upcoming release of their highly anticipated album ‘Blue Weekend’ being released on 11th June 2021, ‘The Last Man on Earth’ offers fans and critics alike a taste of what the future holds for Wolf Alice and boy does it not disappoint! It finds the band blurring the lines - more than they ever have - between classic songwriting, graceful atmosphere and their signature pin-sharp choruses.
With evocative lyrics like “You’d like a light to shine on you” reflecting on man forming arrogance whilst they wait for a gift that isn’t coming, because it is unearned, and “Has lines between lines, between lines” which feels somewhat relatable to when everything always has multiple meanings - why can’t we just mean what we say? Why does everything have to be so complicated?
As Ellie puts it “It’s about the arrogance of humans. 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 more?”. The soft gentleness of the track, it’s beautiful piano melody combined with Ellie singing the lyrics “And when your friends are talking, you hardly hear a word” impressively pin-points societies’ toxic relationship with humanity - with humanities’ need for instant gratification - and the fine line between arrogance and narcissism.
Just when you think the song couldn’t get better after a whole 2 minutes and 14 seconds, just as the line “The thing you should be asking is for help” is being sung, it’s like the heavens have opened; the heavy guitars and incredible drum beats bring the track well and truly into its own - it’s nothing short of perfection.
If this was the last song ‘The Last Man On Earth’ ever had to listen to, he would certainly be a happy man! If this is a hint of what is to come, there is no doubt that the future remains incredibly bright for Wolf Alice. A future where they are unapologetically themselves embracing a newfound boldness and vulnerability.
Article By Jenn Foster