Wolf Alice – ‘Visions Of A Life’: A Review
Two years after the release of Wolf Alice’s My Love is Cool in June 2015, the London four piece are back with their new album Visions Of A Life- which is full of fresh ideas and different sounds.
Visions Of A Life is unpredictable as demonstrated instantly within the first two songs. Album opener; Heavenward, is a track I feel displays classic Wolf Alice style: expressive and nostalgic, an ode to the death of a friend and loved one. It’s followed by Yuk Foo, a short 2 minute outburst of furious lyrics with a punk infused style. Lead singer, Ellie Roswell, commented that the lyrics ‘You bore me to death/deplore me? No I don’t give a sh*t’ are open to interpretation. She commented that Yuk Foo is about “being sick and fed up of certain expectations”, stating that for her “a lot of it is about being a young woman. Even the sh*t, everyday wolf-whistle thing. As I get older, I feel like: ‘Why have I always put up with that?”. Something a lot of young fans can more than likely relate to.
The third track, Beautifully Unconventional is an upbeat, bouncier number. It’s almost a relief from the harsher tones heard in the previous song, a middle ground between Heavenward and Yuk Foo. One of the bands recent singles, Don’t Delete the Kisses, follows this pulls everything back again, with its synth heavy, atmospheric and dreamy.
Planet Hunter begins similarly to that of the band’s softer tracks, reflective and meditative, leading us into a false sense of security before building throughout and being broken up by relentless and more aggressive guitar riffs. Sky Musings has a raspy opening with driving spoken-word and lots of percussive elements throughout whereas Formidable Cool, although quite mellow at points, is reminiscent of Yuk Foo at others- particularly with the more aggressively sung lyrics “yeah I knew it was all an act!” where Ellie appears to criticise male egotism.
Space and Time is a short two minute track that has a more an indie pop kind of feel, a fitting interlude between that of Sky Musings and following track: Sad Boy. If Space and Time can be classed as indie pop, Sad Boy starts off with what sounds like an indie-folk feel to it. However, by 3 minutes in its slightly more raucous and harsh, reinforcing the unpredictability of the song’s direction. St. Purple and Green exhibits sweet, celestial opening harmonies but we are quickly lured again out of our false sense of security with the eruption of brash, driving guitar melodies.
Penultimate track After The Zero Hour is soft in contrast to several others on the album. It’s fluid and harmonic, following on from the celestial tones in the beginning of St. Purple and Green and, to me, is a really stand out song on the album for it is melancholy yet beautiful. Even Ellie in response to the album in general commented that when listening to it she “feel like it’s on the sadder side, or the darker side, of things” and that she thinks “it’s quite hard to write songs about being happy; it’s easier to pour your misery into your lyrics.”
The album closes with the title track, Visions Of a Life. At an immense 8 minutes long, it ties together the diversity seen throughout the album and ends it perfectly. The album really highlights the groups’ strengths, with their ability to produce a dynamic album full of unpredictable sounds and snippets of different genres and tones resulting in an engaging and enjoyable piece of work for both old and new fans of the London four-piece.
Wolf Alice’s new album ‘Visions Of A Life’ is available from the 29th September 2017
Image Credit: Wolf Alice (twitter)