Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend

Released – 2021.06.04

Though Wolf Alice doesn’t really sound a lot like CHVRCHES, I had enough people in the CHVRCHES fandom channels suggest them as a good group, so I opted to go ahead and give this group a try with their (as of this time), latest album, Blue Weekend. Released in 2021, this is the group’s third full album. They have a sound that reminds me quite a bit of groups like Metric and Garbage.

As mentioned before, the sound isn’t really the same as CHVRCHES, but it’s sort of similar, so I can definitely see the cross appeal. There is some electronic sound to Wolf Alice, but overall its a lot more, Alternative Rock sounds, with a really interesting sprinkling of more mellow folksy-ness to it. In face, despite it’s few points of more aggressiveness, and one single extremely aggressive track, the whole album is a very nice mellow rock album.

Overall, I find Wolf Alice and Blue Weekend to be a pretty good overall album. It has a slick sound all round, though the previously mentioned “extremely aggressive track” feels almost out of place. The whole album has this really interesting fill/reverb going on for a lot of parts with the groups’ vocalist Ellie Rowsell. It sounds like there are several people all singing at once but it’s just the one, for the most part. Which I particularly enjoy.

I’ll touch on some of my personal thoughts on individual tracks going forward.

The album opens with The Beach, which is a really nice big build up track, which starts out quietly subtle but is nice and full and busy by the end with a really great sort of ethereal sound going by the end. It’s a nice fit for the opening track.

The second track Delicious Things follows up along with a much more even and regular flow and pace from a lot of the other tracks on the album. Though a lot of the nice guitar work that exists in this entire album starts to show it’s head here with it’s layered sounds running throughout. It rolls almost continuously directly into Lipstick on the Glass, something I don’t believe really happens elsewhere on the album. I particularly like how this song switches between it’s flowing low key moments then bounces off into the fuller chorus moments. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the album.

It’s followed up by the fourth track, Smile, which is definitely my favorite track of the album. It’s a lot heavier in sound than most of the rest of the album, but not overwhelmingly so. It also features a lot of excellent guitar work throughout, but a lot at the climax. There is a really nice bass guitar bit near the end. It comes in fast and hard and doesn’t stop and I love it.

The follow up though takes quite a bit different direction, and sets the tone for the rest of the album where things are a bit more low key with Safe From Heartbreak. Which is a lot more even toned throughout and features a nice low key picking guitar line throughout. This is part of where the “folksy-ness” starts to show a lot more as well in these back end more low key tracks. A lot of the vocals also feature a nice almost a ‘Capella sounding harmony to them. The low key sound continues in the next track How Can I Make It Ok?, though there is also a bit more build up in this one as the track goes along. The sound layering in the peak end of this track is nice, it’s a bit on the album that I enjoyed a bit extra.

Then there is our “excessively aggressive” track, with Play the Greatest Hits. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like this track. It just feels, weirdly places in the middle of all of these much more mellow tracks. It has a much more fast paced screamo punk sound to it, which also feels a lot different than the rest of the album.

The rest of the album rounds out with Feeling Myself, The Last Man on Earth, No Hard Feelings, and a reprise version of the opener with The Beach II. The second version of The Beach is quite a different song though, it’s not just, a slightly different version of the same song. Most of these last few tracks are some more much more low key smaller sound, though often with lots of interesting layering of guitars and electronic bits, which is a running theme of the album. No Hard Feelings is particularly good, just before the end of the album.