Wolf Alice are a band that no longer needs an introduction. With multiple awards under their belts and an amalgamation of sold-out world tours, the London quartet have more than made their permanent mark on the indie rock music scene. The most recent record, Blue Weekend acts as their most sonically mature release to date and aptly demonstrates their evolution as a band, ever since their debut EP Blush made its way onto the airwaves in 2013.
Following on from their number one, critically acclaimed third album, the Blue Lullaby EP carefully plucks a handful of the best tracks to give them a delicate and acoustic twist. Accompanied by a mini-YouTube series, the band shares the making of the EP to give fans a delightful peek behind the curtain.
Speaking on the release, Ellie notes: “Blue Lullaby came about because we wanted to strip down some of our more emotional songs from Blue Weekend and see if they hit any different. We also had a really nice moment during the Blue Weekend campaign singing one of our songs with a choir and we wanted to experience that again with a few other songs, especially as there are a lot of harmonies and a lot of vocal layering on Blue Weekend. Hearing multiple voices singing together is an unparalleled feeling to me so I’m happy we got to record this experience and I hope people enjoy it.”
The first track on the EP to be stripped to its roots is ‘Lipstick On The Glass’. Featuring softly plucked guitar lines and soaring, angelic vocalisations in a hauntingly beautiful rendition of melodic cut. The number reaches its apex just before the three-minute mark as Ellie is joined by an echoing chorus of voices and falsettos, in a mesmerising and unforgettable performance.
The broody ‘How Can I Make It Okay’ is perfectly stripped-back to put on show frontwoman Ellie Rowsell’s impressive range. Running through a narrative of romanticism and asserting for another’s peace, Rowsell pleads “How can I make it okay? / I just want you to be happy / How can I make it okay? / Nothing else is as important as that to me”.
Remaining firmly planted in its dynamic roots, this second track features soft percussive beats that backdrop lush, breezy vocal intonations. Utterly enchanting, this laid-bare version of ‘How Can I Make It Okay’ more than earns its place on this EP.
With ‘No Hard Feelings’, Wolf Alice lament about ‘moving on’ and getting past grudges as harmonies take the limelight as Rowsell ponders on the breakdown of a relationship “No hard feelings, honey / There’ll be no bad blood / Losing your love has been hard enough”.
Heartfelt, illustrious and equally emotionally potent, ‘No Hard Feelings’, like its poetic lyricism suggests, is “short but sweet” and is a welcome addition to the band’s acoustic back catalogue.
The penultimate track, ‘Feeling Myself’ offers the starkest contrast on the EP to its original version. Featuring an almost folky opening with layered instrumentation, the cut explores finding yourself after a breakup and explores the idea of being at peace in isolation and self-acceptance. Utterly atmospheric with an air of mystery, the backing of string instruments adds further depth to the already dynamic number.
Closing with the first single to be released from the album, ‘The Last Man On Earth’ didn’t need to veer much from its path to be transformed into a stripped-back masterpiece. Teeming with gentle piano, the group breathes further life into the track with a chorus of voices to accompany Ellie in an utterly beautiful rendition of the already goose-bump-inducing number.
Wolf Alice are a band full of warranted ambition and never fail to stun – here’s to hoping the quartet take pride in this release and head out on an acoustic tour.
Words by Lana Williams
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