Album of the Week: Wolf Alice, 'Blue Weekend'


Wolf Alice, 'Blue Weekend'
Wolf Alice, 'Blue Weekend' (Dirty Hit Records)

British alt-rockers Wolf Alice have released their third studio record, Blue Weekend,this month and it's our Album of the Week. Ellie and Joff recently caught up with The Current's Jill Riley about recording the album without tight timelines, playing this year's Glastonbury Festival, and more. Check out the full session and interview highlights below.

Interview Highlights

Edited for clarity and length.

JILL RILEY: How are things today? How are you feeling being at home? Are things looking like they're more on the bright side?

ELLIE ROWSELL: Yeah, London is opening up a little bit as the rest of the UK. We even have a few festivals booked for this summer. So it feels a little bit more hopeful because we're more than ready to get back on the road and play some shows--play these new songs. Fingers crossed it stays like that, really, and gets better eventually.

JOFF ODDIE: Yeah, things are looking positive. Things seem to be moving in the right direction. And the last couple of years has taught us to not count our chickens before they've hatched. So we will wait with bated breath, much anticipation with fingers, toes and all the rest crossed.

If you could kind of take us back to the beginning of writing songs for this new record, and when did you start recording it? What was the process with this new album?

JOFF ODDIE: Well, the writing for record usually starts when you've finished work on the last record, really, when that's kind of in, so to speak. Kind of officially, all four of us working together collaborating on music was--that would have been around March time, around Easter time 2019? I think. Yeah. That's when we kind of started working on it. A little break from the album tours before. Then we spent the rest of that year in a rehearsal space in North London, up in Tottenham just kind of hashing it all out, really. When we were there, until January, the following year, where we went to Brussels, to a studio called ICP, with a producer called Marcus Dravs and started working on it.

I imagine that it's one thing to record the album, but it's such another thing to get the songs on a stage, and be able to perform them that way. I imagine that there's a heavy anticipation for you that even though you didn't have any pressure in the studio, that now it's kind of like, "Okay, we're ready for this."

JOFF ODDIE: For sure, we can't wait to get out. We can't wait to get out back playing shows, again. It's our bread and butter as a band. We absolutely love it. Yeah, it's been kind of crappy, not being able to do it.

How does it feel to have this album finally coming out?

JOFF ODDIE: Yeah, it's been a long time. We've been working on new songs for a really long time. The album has kind of been done for a long time as well. So, yeah, cannot wait.

It was nice to hear, we were just talking a few minutes ago about how when you were making the album, you didn't feel a lot of pressure to rush to get on the road to have to do the promotions. But of course, the upside of getting on the road is to be able to perform it for the fans. Did you feel any sort of pressure or maybe haunted by? I always get a different answer for this. But the fact that you're Mercury Prize winners, and you've had your music nominated for Grammys and various awards, I guess, does that kind of sink into your brain a little bit? Like, okay, we've had this success and now, what are we going to do to sort of lift it up to another level? Or do you not think about those things at all?

JOFF ODDIE: You're always going to kind of think about them to some extent, I don't think it's really healthy to be making creative decisions based on that. I think more so, for us, it's a case of trying to make music that we'd want to listen to. And that's the metric that--well, I guess the only real metric that we have, that we're doing, we're doing something right. And when we make a piece of music that pleases us, we hope that other people will. That principle has served as fairly well, in the past. So I think that's where we kind of like to focus in on how we use that kind of pressure. It's internal.

Yeah, I imagine. As far as anything, informing the music that you make, certainly music that you want to listen to, what is the music that you've listened to maybe a lot in this last year that you think that maybe informed this new album? Whether it be something contemporary, or something that you're heavily influenced by? Did you find that any of that creeps in, like, the music that you're into at the moment?

ELLIE ROWSELL: It's hard to pinpoint because we wrote these songs over quite a long time period. So we've obviously been listening to a lot of different stuff. We never really have direct references that we give to producers or to each other so it's hard to pinpoint, but we're always inspired by Queens of the Stone Age, especially having come off tour of them. That was really formative for us as a band and I think artists like Alex G, and Lana Del Rey, Christine and the Queens, Arcade Fire. Those are a few names that I can think of that we maybe banded around the studio at the time. But different influences for different songs, no overarching ones.

So this final song, "The Last Man on Earth," I wonder if you could help me kind of put a little context around the song or talk about the inspiration for the song or even a story about recording the song. I will take any of the above--any or all of the above.

JOFF ODDIE: I remember listening to it for the first time on my--the demo of it, I was walking through Hampstead Heath, which is a big park in North London. I put my earphones in and as I started to listen, the clouds parted and the sun shone. They actually did, and I knew there was something going on there. Yeah, it's a wicked tune.

External Link

Wolf Alice - offical site

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3 Photos

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    Wolf Alice (Jono White)
  • Wolf Alice perform in The Current studio
    Wolf Alice perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Wolf Alice perform in The Current studio
    Wolf Alice perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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