Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life
Wolf Alice’s punk, 80s synth-pop, grunge, and folk influences meld together to form something original and non-imitative.
‘VOAL’ is bolder with lyrics that reach down to a more personal space and has a confidence that the band’s developed from a solid foundation practising and perfecting their sound from relentlessly touring.
‘Visions Of A Life’ is Wolf Alice’s second album that premiered at number two in the UK album charts; it is both comforting and refreshing to see that British rock culture is alive and kicking amongst the popularity of electronic and R&B music.
‘Heavenward’ is a melodically-gentle rumbling opener, with ethereal oohing-and-aahing from vocalist-guitarist Ellie in the minute and a half intro. Her sweet voice fills the ears and echoes out in synth sounds: ‘Go heavenward like all earth angels should’.
The wave of guitar strums and crescendo of drums envelopes the emotion and roots the song, whilst the ethereal vocals lift it.
It’s deeply personal and unabashedly emotional and shows us the developing confidence that Rowsell has found from songwriting that doesn’t get stripped back in production.
Following this is hit track: ‘Yuk Foo’ – a total punk-rock anthem that departs from the synths of ‘Heavenward’ to shock us. The song was birthed in a dressing room on tour, and the demo got recorded with Ellie whisper-shouting in a voice that is much like a high-pitched squeak of a feral animal.
The sound levels were then adjusted in studio production to create a wild screaming chorus: ‘No, I don’t give a shit!’
‘Yuk Foo’ is an outpour of cussing in anger and frustration that wasn’t filtered out in the recording. Ellie wants to shock with this track and prove that women shouldn’t filter emotions to be polite and submissive.
She wants you to scream into your pillow and curse the world if you think it’s f***ing you over – a new-gen rock heroine.
‘VOAL’ shows its sophisticated variety of sounds by juxtaposing tracks like ‘Yuk Foo’ to ‘Beautifully Unconventional’; a track that departs from the grunge sounds and is nostalgically pop-rock influenced. A track you could place in a late nineties or early 00’s rom-com.
‘After The Zero Hour’ is the penultimate track and carries on with this ethereality and reflects their indie-folk style that we first heard in their debut ‘Blush’ EP.
Then finally, we hear the namesake song for the album, which goes against all norms of song-production and is a lengthy eight-minute long track that reflects the veracity of the band.
Listen up because they’re an archetype for what rock music can be and destroy the conventional displays of glamour and money in music. Wolf Alice are impassioned and refuse to fulfil a stereotype that’s all about drugs, sex, and destruction.
‘VOAL’ is Ellie’s musical diary from the past two years and her band follows through with sounds that bring her autobiographical lyrics to divine life.
Wolf Alice have found their feet in a refined amalgamation of genres and shall be ready to prove this to us when they arrive in Brighton later this month.