Wolf Alice – Visions Of A Life’ – 29/09/17
In 2015 Wolf Alice made quite the statement with their debut full-length album ‘My Love Is Cool’, finding them nominated for a Mercury Music Prize for the certified Gold album. Finally, for Wolf Alice fans, the long wait for new music is over, as the London 4 piece return with their brand new album ‘Visions Of A Life’. But can it exceed the great expectations we have?
‘Visions Of A Life’ reflects the highs and lows of touring life, throwing you onto a rollercoaster of creative and detailed tracks from beginning to end. Opening track ‘Heavenward’ eases us into the new album familiarly with that trademark chilled Wolf Alice vibe. It wouldn’t sound out of place on their last record, and is a great bridge over to the brand new album. Written about the death of a friend, it’s a really powerful track from the lyrics right down to the spine tingling music. In contrast, ‘Yuk Foo’ stands out as the heaviest track on the album. With plenty of frustration and anger, Ellie screams through the punk inspired belter displaying clearly her feelings in true riot girl fashion about people’s perceptions and expectations. It’s one of our favourite tracks on the album with such an explosive chorus, and it’s bound to go down well in their live shows as the mosh pits break out left right and centre.
The short and sweet ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ follows with a groovy guitar line and plenty of swagger. Written about a unique and inspiring friendship from the past, it rings similarities to that of ‘Bros’ on the previous full length lyrically. It’s another single already released before the album and it carries itself well with its upbeat tune, furthermore demonstrating the fluctuation of feelings and music on this album. ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ also looks back on life to highlight young love in a dreamy haze, highlighting the uncertainty and excitement of getting close to someone. It creates one of the strongest tracks on the album and is sure to be a favourite among their following.
‘Planet Hunter’ put simply, is quite beautiful. Its trickling guitar guides us well into the track with just Ellie’s exquisite vocals for a much more stripped back Wolf Alice sound, which feels more familiar as we discover the depths of the album. The drums in ‘Sky Musings’ beat through as the heart of the track, beneath the whisperings of Ellie’s nervous and panicked thoughts as she stumbles through the soft and uneasy track, taking us through the panic of a flight, and the fear of crashing and loosing everything.
‘Formidable Cool’ similarly to ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ has a groovy feel to it, before building up to a much livelier closing, with Ellie’s reverberating vocals. ‘Space & Time’ continues to pick up the pace of the album with plenty of drive and screeching guitar. Its infectious chorus will have you head banging along in no time.
‘Sadboy’ is more uplifting musically than that of the title reflects. It’s one of the most experimental tracks on the album, and is structured with plenty of layers of sound within its depths. The breakdown slows the track right down before building back up with plenty of distortion and vocals ringing out.
‘St. Purple & Green’ introduces itself with an interesting gospel sound, before the typical Wolf Alice lively guitars kick in. From a beautifully sung steady flowing verse to bright sounding guitar and drums, the track fluctuates throughout to keep you on your toes. ‘After the Zero hour’, the penultimate track on the album, has a much more stripped back feeling to it with Ellie’s vocals and harmonic singing, over some intricate acoustic guitar tweaking, making it stand out on the album from everything else we’ve heard so far.
The album title track ‘Visions Of A Life’ closes out the album with 8 minutes of music continuously rising throughout, picking up pace and liveliness, before it drops into a hypnotic state. It’s a great representation of the unpredictability of this album, from highs and lows, to some experimentation musically from a band who thrive from finding their own unique sound and style.
It’s certainly a fantastic album from start to finish with very little weakness. You can’t help but be drawn into it, and you’ll soon find yourself compelled by its meditative music. Refreshing, unpredictable and creative, it’s everything we thrived from Wolf Alice, and another step closer to world domination.
Review: Danny Peart