What a wonderful weekend in Portugal. It was long, the weather was, from north to south, the best you could ask for in this country – warmth, blue skies, happiness in the air. And at this time we saw pictures of people in the countryside, in the gardens, on the beach, in the city. All full, happy, with a feeling of normality at such a particular moment in our modern history.
We went to concerts, saw friends again who we hadn’t seen for a long time. We shared smiles, sadness, anguish, beers, food. We ended up wanting more. We started these paradisiacal days in the best possible way. The London band Wolf Alice released their third album – and it is with them that we went from before to after, from the uncertain to the certain, from youth to…well, youth, but more mature, certainly.
It seems like yesterday, but with singles and EPs in between, it’s been almost ten years with Ellie Rowsell, Joff Oddie, Theo Ellis, and Joel Amey. In 2013 they released Blush, their first EP. Between melancholy and pure hard rock, we highlight She. Frenetic rhythms, a la the 90’s, that freeze your heart. One of the songs of my life, of course.
Moving forward two years, we enter together for the first studio album, My Love Is Cool. With this motto, we also see them for the first time in Portugal at the NOS Alive festival. Songs like Bros, Your Loves Whore, Freazy, or Lisbon take our imagination to lands never seen before. Although the name of the last song is the same as the name of the Portuguese capital, there is no connection between the two: the theme is Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel, The Virgin Suicides, and the tragic story of the five Lisbon sisters. Years later, it was adapted to the big screen by Sofia Coppola. Regardless, it is always one of the most applauded songs when it is played in Lisbon – and the British band certainly makes a point of it.
In 2017 we met Visions of a Life, an album that turns our heads into a mixture of bipolarity that only after listening to it three, four, five times, we understand the narrative that is told there.
I highlight Don’t Delete The Kisses. It is one of the songs of my life. Released at a troubled time, when a thesis, a new job, and the end of a long relationship all rolled into one, it shows all the magical steps of love – and how it can change your life. On one hand, that little chill in the belly where everything feels like heaven – and that person will be with us for life. On the other hand, the unknown, the anger, the questioning of why we are there. All this with a dreamy rhythm, where Ellie’s voice guides us in this enchanted world and in which verses like “What if it’s not meant for me? Love” whisper in our heads. And it is beautiful to see the relationship I currently have with this song: if on one side, a while ago I would have felt nostalgic, almost with tears in the corner of my eye, now I realize how beautiful it is – and how it has to be, always, in my playlist.
And if we say that the third time is the charm, nothing better than the new album of the band, one of those instant-classics that will never leave our memory.
Everyone who has ever met or heard Wolf Alice knows the immense talent that each of its members has. Be it on vocals, drums, guitar, or bass, we all feel like those perfect friends that we always want to have around us.
With Blue Weekend we have exactly that: the purest version of each of the elements that represent the British quartet.
This tour is made up of eleven songs. And it’s to the sound of The Beach that we definitely feel on holiday. The sea breeze, a rhythm that goes up the pulse to the sound of Rowsell’s voice, fitting perfectly in what we most need in our lives. What could be a more epic beginning?
And from the beach, we move to paradise, with Delicious Things. The chorus is beautiful, it sends shivers down your legs. We couldn’t stop listening to it.
We move on to the most intimate concert halls in the world from paradise, with Lipstick On The Glass. We feel on cloud nine with angelic arrangements with all the feels we are offered in such a short time.
And on the fourth, one of the first singles from the album. Smile is just that esmo, a refined version of the alternative rock that Wolf Alice has always accustomed us to. No screams or guitars with endless riffs were needed. It’s class, pure class. The drums, bass, and guitar are there at just the right moments to explode with Ellie. And it all gets so perfect that we definitely don’t stop listening and…smiling.
From rock, we move straight into one of the purest ballads around. Safe From Heartbreak (if you never fall in love). If Don’t Delete The Kisses marked a generation, this one will certainly be close when it comes to love relationships and the hope of a life together. Did we mention that Ellie Rowsell’s voice is beautiful? Yeah, so get to know that again.
Halfway through this track, How Can I Make It OK? is a more dreamy track, which slowly spreads into a mix of electronic and alternative rock. The rhythm is there, and it’s fresh and very beautiful.
For those who loved She or Yuk Foo, at the seventh we have Play The Greatest Hits, the most punk version of the Londoners, reminding us of the kids who charmed us in 2013. We can’t wait for a mosh pit to the sound of this song.
And after punk, jazz. Feeling Myself can stay on the account for that matter. A sexy and beautiful rhythm, to put the ears listening from the youngest to the most mature audience.
It’s time to cry. To cry with joy. To vibrate to the bone. The time has come to revisit the first single from the album, The Last Man On Earth. A masterpiece. The angelic arrangements, Ellie’s vocal power combined with talented hands on the piano, and an immense desire to hug that person we love so much. It’s beautiful. One of the best songs ever released. Indispensable for any music fan.
No Hards Feelings meets everything we’ve heard so far. And we still feel like hugging that special person, because these songs were perfect to listen to that person that completes us.
We started on the beach, we end on it. The Beach II sums up the London outfit’s musical career up to this point. We have melancholy, rock, the will to dream, to want more and better. It’s with them that we’ve grown up and want to continue to be.
With Wolf Alice, we were always able to review our lives. At a time of certainty, conquest, anger, or sadness, they were always there and gave us the perfect soundtrack. And on the third studio album, we look back with a feeling of happy nostalgia, because Blue Weekend is just that: the most mature version of the English band, already entering the pedestal of one of the best records of 2021.