Ever since their 2013 debut EP Blush, London rock band Wolf Alice’s MO has been to combine festival-ready indie-rock hooks with soaring, technicolor dream-pop.
The band’s new single ‘Smile’, the second track released from upcoming LP Blue Weekend, returns to this template after a brief detour into soft piano ballad territory with ‘The Last Man on Earth’.
This one-two punch of single releases is summed up in the opening couplet of ‘Smile’: “I ain’t afraid though my steps appear tentative / I scope it out then I throw myself into it”.
If its predecessor seemed a tentative (yet stunning) return after 2017’s Mercury-winning LP Visions of a Life, ‘Smile’ is the band throwing themselves back into the world—despite it looking a lot different than before.
The headstrong self-confidence of frontwoman Ellie Rowsell’s lyrics is matched by the powerfully self-assured strut of rhythm section Theo Ellis and Joel Amey, and guitarist Joff Oddie’s fuzzed-out riffs are thrillingly forceful. Where their last single floated like a butterfly, this one is a “honey bee sting.”
The band’s balance of strength and vulnerability is proudly on display here, encapsulated eloquently in the lyrics: “I ain’t ashamed in the fact that I’m sensitive … I am what I am and I’m good at it.” Fans and newcomers alike will find it hard to disagree with this statement.
Words by Dan Knight
Support The Indiependent
We’re trying to raise £200 a month to help cover our operational costs. This includes our ‘Writer of the Month’ awards, where we recognise the amazing work produced by our contributor team. If you’ve enjoyed reading our site, we’d really appreciate it if you could donate to The Indiependent. Whether you can give £1 or £10, you’d be making a huge difference to our small team.