Wolf Alice first appeared in the alternative rock scene in North London in 2010. Lead by vocalist Ellie Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie, they independently released their first EP self-entitled Wolf Alice, which had only three songs. These three songs, however, turned out to be a major hit and two years later they expanded to a four-piece band, welcoming in drummer Joel Amey and bassist Theo Ellis into the family.
The band then released a few new singles and another EP, growing in popularity all the while. Their debut full length album, My Love Is Cool, came in June 2015 to rave reviews. One of the songs, “Silk” is heavily featured in the film Trainspotting 2, and is this writer’s favorite song by the band thus far. Listen to it here:
Or, even better, listen to the 10 minute extended version with the chorus on repeat, because that segment is pretty short despite it being the best part of the song:
Now, Wolf Alice is back with a brand new album, entitled Visions Of A Life. Their new collection features 12 brand new songs, all of which are much in the same vein as the band’s previous work.
Visions Of A Life finds a creative way to take on the grunge rock, yet oddly dreamy style that the band is known for, while also throwing something new into the mix, something the best bands do, so they don’t grow stale. They flip back and forth from their harder, more extreme songs such as “Yuk Foo” or “Sadboy” to smoother, calmer music like “Don’t Delete The Kisses” and “After the Zero Hour.”
The rhythms and beats created by Amey and Ellis all match the lyrics perfectly, and Rowsell is still one of the better lead singers to come out of in the new wave of British musicians yet.
“Even as a kid,” said Rowsell in an interview with NME, “I would play pretend and wish I was an adult, and now that I’m an adult I sometimes wish I was someone else. That phrase just felt like a poetic way of expressing it. Then there’s the album artwork, a picture of a girl in a frock dancing around a podium with a horse’s head on it — she obviously had some vision of a life that she was playing out. It’s my auntie in the picture, and she actually did become a dancer, so that vision came true. It really resonated with me because I spent my whole childhood not playing with toys but playing inside my head and acting it out. That’s what our songs are, I suppose — visions and little bits of life that somehow got made into music.”
Indeed, the lyrics in Visions Of A Life seem to point to exactly that, as Roswell expresses her angry feelings about the current state of the world, politics and other matters. Wolf Alice has never been easy listening exactly, but their music does come from a place of honestly and, at times, grief.
Wolf Alice may not be a band that everyone is going to gravitate to, especially on their heavier songs. However, Visions Of A Life is as good as they’ve ever been, if not better. With this album, they create an intimate connection with their listeners, giving an insight into the way they see the world and how it’s not always pretty. The results are nothing short of a success.
Listen to "After the Zero Hour" here, and check out the full album on any music streaming platform. It's definitely worth the listen. Then, in the comments below, let us know what is your favorite song off of Visions Of A Life?
Alternative rock band Wolf Alice releases new album 'Visions Of A Life'8