In the lead-up to sophomore album Visions of a Life, due out 29 September, folk/grunge lovechild Wolf Alice have made nothing but excellent first single choices to prime us for its release; hopes are high for the sequel to Mercury Prize-nominated debut My Love Is Cool.
Even though much of the album is still under wraps until the end of the month, it’s hard to imagine a better first single choice than ‘Yuk Foo’, a track that ignited crazed anticipation for the impending album. Primal and rude, for a full two minutes Ellie Rowsell whispers and screams her way through a multitude of punkish insults and profanities – the unlucky target unidentified. Animosity this furious is novel from Wolf Alice and a sound to behold.
An entirely different Rowsell is found on the gentler ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ – upon first hearing a more middle-of-the-road indie-rock product, with minimal instrumentation and monorhythms pulled straight from My Love Is Cool’s ‘Lisbon’. Rowsell’s voice soars sweetly in a melody that mirrors the question its lyric asks, “What if it’s not meant for me? Love” – answered in the surprisingly non-sugary culminating verse…”You and me were meant to be in love”. Satisfyingly symmetrical, the track closes with the refrain with which it began, such literary exactness nudging the band towards grunge-poet territory.
‘Beautifully Unconventional’ is jovial with a knowing wink, the jubilantly cryptic chorus hook “Heather! She lives! She breathes!” is inspired by an old friend of Rowsell’s and the film Heathers, “…where everyone is a Heather and you find your other non-Heather… a ‘you can be my partner in crime’, sorta thing”. Matched with ‘Yuk Foo’ in play length to the second, a mere 2:12 most definitely leaves us wanting more.
Catch Wolf Alice on their live tour this autumn:
Nov 08 – Bristol, O2 Academy
Nov 09 – Manchester, O2 Apollo
Nov 12 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, O2 Academy
Nov 16 – Birmingham, O2 Academy
Nov 18 – Leeds, O2 Academy