Two weeks ago, I had the good fortune of catching Wolf Alice on their US tour in a tiny venue in Boston. The band is about to embark on their best season of festivals yet, with Latitude, Reading and Leeds, Bestival and Calling Festival already announced so far.
Joined by her strong supporting band members, frontwoman Ellie Rowsell sang her microphone into submission as the band played out songs from their debut album, “My Love is Cool”. After hearing the first song, it becomes obvious that the four-piece have been playing together for years, not only as they ring out addictive rhythms, melodic riffs and thoughtful lyrics, but because it seems almost miraculous that they can have so much fun jerking around on stage without crashing into each other once.
Particular crowd pleasers included “Mona Lisa Smile” – probably their most recognisable single – and “Bros”, which they performed after an endearing intro from bassist Theo, explaining the is song about friendship and that they are all “best mates” (naw). Wolf Alice have also just released their most recent single, “Giant Peach”, accompanied by a humorous but fitting music video, involving Robin Hood costumes and that creepy professor from Fresh Meat.
Giant Peach goes from catchy rock song to impressive concoction in four and a half minutes, with bold Muse-like guitar riffs and vocals that could be straight out of a song by The Runaways. In a similar fashion to what bands like Maximo Park do so well, the track is made up of several different elements, each distinct but skillfully following a logical progression. It’s rock that, at times, borders on metal. Lyrically, Giant Peach might as well be an anthem for any twenty-something who finds themselves in some sort of limbo, be that in employment, relationships… whatever it is, we’ve all asked ourselves “what the hell keeps me here?”, which Ellie melodically murmurs in the song’s bridge to the accompaniment of a palpitating bass string.
Wolf Alice have a very exciting summer coming up indeed (their festival fun extends far beyond the British Isles), but find them before that on their UK tour – they will be in Bristol on the 2nd April.
It's going to be an exciting summer for this endearing artist who is coming more and more into their own.