Wolf Alice has shared “The Last Man On Earth,” the first single from their just-announced third album, Blue Weekend. The LP is due for release on June 11 via Dirty Hit/RCA Records. Blue Weekend is out June 11 just in time for the UK’s bid for freedom!
The tune is about “the arrogance of humans,” singer and guitarist Ellie Roswell said in a statement. “I’d just read Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle and I had written the line ‘Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god’ in my notes. But then I thought: ‘Uh, your peculiar travel suggestion isn’t a dancing lesson from god, it’s just a travel suggestion! Why does everything need to mean something more?’”
The record was made while the band stayed at an Airbnb in Somerset, UK. There, they “cemented their friendship and set to work on some fledgeling demos in a converted church,” Wolf Alice’s press materials explain. The resulting record, Blue Weekend, was produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Björk, Brian Eno, Florence + The Machine).
Watch the video for “The Last Man On Earth” below.
Relatability is big currency in pop culture these days and it’s a common phenomenon for us to interpret songs, books, movies and more based on our own experiences. We inject importance into their storylines and lyrics based on how they make us feel about our lives, the lines between whether a piece of art is actually good or just makes us feel seen increasingly blurred. It’s an event that doesn’t escape Rowsell’s of our self-important society: “Every book you take and you dust off from the shelf/ Has lines between lines between lines that you read about yourself,” she observes. “Does a light shine on you?”
It’s sharp, smart songwriting that provides both a critical assessment of humanity’s egotistical impulses and allows us to do the very thing it warns of – finding ourselves in the lyrics and moulding them to fit our worlds. Wolf Alice have long proven themselves to be one of the best and brightest bands in Britain, but here they give us yet more evidence that they’re still setting the standard for UK music and beyond.
Usually, the start of a new era for the four-piece is signalled by a storming, moshpit-inciting banger. Their 2015 debut album ‘My Love Is Cool’ had the sludgy swagger of ‘Giant Peach’ and ‘Yuk Foo’ – the first track from their phenomenal 2017 album ‘Visions Of A Life’ – set fire to everything that had come before in a blaze of urgent rock riffs and guttural screams from Rowsell. Even EPs ‘Blush’ (2013) and ‘Creature Songs’ (2014) introduced themselves with tracks that made you want to throw yourself headfirst into a sweaty mass of strangers.
‘The Last Man On Earth’, though, changes tack. It’s not until midway through the song that we get much more than Rowsell’s vocals and a simple piano line. It’s a different pace for the band – one that puts their singer at the forefront and lets her emotive voice do the work until we enter a grand, powerful second half. As she delivers one of the song’s most cutting lines (“Who are you to ask for anything more/ The only thing you should be asking for is help”), drummer Joel Amey, bassist Theo Ellis and guitarist Joff Oddie enter the stage and gradually lift the track to epic new heights that dip between vintage psych riffs and majestic walls of sound built to fill arenas.
Blue Weekend follows Wolf Alice’s 2017’s Visions Of A Life album, which earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Rock Performance. They also won the 2018 Mercury Prize for Visions, an honour that came with a monetary prize of about $35,000.
Pre-order the new album here.
Blue Weekend tracklisting
1. The Beach
2. Delicious Things
3. Lipstick On The Glass
5. Safe From Heartbreak (if you never fall in love)
6. How Can I Make It OK?
7. Play The Greatest Hits
8. Feeling Myself
9. The Last Man On Earth
10. No Hard Feelings
11. The Beach II