Alternative | Indie | Rock
Wolf Alice have always came across to me as pioneers of sorts. If not for their modern, accessible, and innovative indie-rock sound, perhaps we wouldn’t have been able to see the likes of Black Honey or The Big Moon on the rise.
From the moment I had first discovered them through their single “Moaning Lisa Smile”, I had been a fan of the sense of whimsicality that they always brought to the table.
I especially loved their sophomore album Visions Of A Life; a project that would ultimately become one of the most iconic projects of 2017 for me. I loved the kind of epic energy that album carried, whilst not only retaining that aforementioned sense of whimsicality, but developing upon it.
Fast-forward to 2021, and Wolf Alice begin to tease their following project, and their third studio album, Blue Weekend. I was first made aware of the new album cycle through the band’s first teaser single “The Last Man on Earth”. And in my mind, this single instantly suggested to me that Wolf Alice were aiming to approach for a more mellow, slow-burning, and generally more accessible record. This, in my my mind, was both understandable and admirable considering the stage that the band is now at in their musical career.
And even though their second teaser “Smile” offered a far more hard-hitting and gritty compositional framework than the teaser track before it, it was still easy for me to sense an added layer of melodic elegance, that ultimately allowed the track to strike an idea balance between their old-school energy, and their finely-aged sense of atmosphere.
Ultimately, this more mellow feel spilled into the album, almost completely, upon its release. I would argue that Wolf Alice carry a very Beach House-inspired sound, most noticeable on tracks like “Delicious Things”, as well as the opening and closing sister songs, “The Beach” and “The Beach II”.
In-fact, the only song that I would say didn’t fit into this aesthetic at all, would be what I saw as a spiritual successor of sorts to the song “Yuk Foo” that was found on Visions Of A Life; that being the new track “Play The Greatest Hits”. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t even really dislike the song. However, it feels like a square peg in a round hole, regarding how it fits (or more so, doesn’t fit) into Blue Weekend.
On the other side of the spectrum, a select few of the other tracks do feel a bit too mundane for their own good. And while I would say that each track on this album is definitely at least listenable, tracks like “Feeling Myself”, for example, lacked in memorability for me.
While I still feel that the slightly more dynamic, colourful, and versatile feel of Visions Of A Life, allow that project to remain as my first preference, Blue Weekend is certainly not far behind. There definitely is something to admire about the musical maturity and immersive aura of this heartbreak album, and for that, I would totally agree that it is another great addition to a consistently great discography.
Favourite Tracks: Delicious Things | Smile | How Can I Make It OK?
Least Favourite Track: Feeling Myself
Enjoyment: 8/10 | Memorability: 7/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10
Uniqueness: 6/10 | Satisfaction: 7/10 | Narrative: 7/10