Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life Review 

Wolf Alice’s second album ‘Visions Of Life’ released via Dirty Hit, produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Paramore, Beck, M83) and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Bowie, Arcade Fire, Adele), is the kind of collection of tracks that transports you into a world of teen drama and existential crisis, while proving that British alternative rock will never surrender.

Opener ‘Heavenward’ soars into life with ethereal guitars and lead singer Ellie Roswell’s delicately building vocal. Feeling rooted in the band’s shoe-gaze era the melody is subtle and dreamy. Drifting and not pounding into being, before a wall of feedback emerges, giving that familiar distorted edge to the tracks mournful tone. 

Though not everything is soft and day-dreamy within this vision of life. ‘Yuk Foo’ is a sharpened teeth punk-edged kick of vengeance. Rosewell’s vocal mixes like hardcore screams against bassist Theo Ellis and drummer Joel Armey’s thundering rhythm. 

Teenage love’s, or at least the idea that a relationship can take you back to that awkward feeling of not quite fitting your own body and not knowing how to really convey your emotions without seeming like a complete mess, is covered within many tracks but perfectly encapsulated in both the swooningly delicate, swirling guitars and pulsing beat of ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’ and ‘Formidable Cool’s tumbling riffs and savagely howled vocals. 

Tracks like ‘After The Zero Hour’ and ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ continue the embracing of Wolf Alice’s softer, cinematic side. With the latter painting the picture of a partner in crime tale, Ellie Rowsell’s vocal plays with the description of female friendship, while layers of chunky guitars and delicate samples create an utterly captivating track; ‘I long to see (her arms above my soul), I long to be (with her forevermore)’.

Moving from darker rock sounds into softer touches of shoe-gaze 

‘Planet Hunter’ is yet another drifting track that feels laced with 90’s alt-rock subtleties. Telling tales of clouded eyes and failed romances from the morning after the night before as things are lifted so high into orbit you can barely see the earth beneath you; ‘And it was never ever gonna last long, And it was only ever gonna go wrong, And in the morning I only have myself to blame.’  

Ethereal folk mixed with crunching grunge is embraced wholeheartedly in the vibrant and yet delicately whispered ‘St. Purple and Green.’ Even with some almost spoken word phrasing things still remain soaring above the clouds.

Overall ‘Visions Of Life’ is an album that seems to pull together everything Wolf Alice can muster into a bold and expressive statement of intent. Though in places things feel like a continuation of their debut, 2015’s ‘My Love Is Cool’, with barred-teeth electronic folk mixed with grunge shoe-gaze, tracks inevitably show a refinement in the bands sound as exuberant guitars and enticingly raw lyrics propel you into Wolf Alice’s world. 

Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life = 8/10

Hayley Miller

Single Review – Wolf Alice – Heavenward

Wolf Alice’s Heavenward, fourth single released from new album ‘Visions of Life’ 29th Sept via Dirty Hit, was recorded with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Paramore, Beck) and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Bowie, Arcade Fire, Adele). Written after the death of a close friend the track soars in ethereal guitars and lead singer Ellie Roswell’s delicately building vocal. Feeling rooted in the band’s shoegaze era the melody is subtle and dreamy, drifting into being, before a wall of feedback emerges, giving that familiar distorted-gritty edge to the tracks overall loud-quiet-loud tone. Despite its sad theme, and whether or not you believe in robed beings with six-foot white wings standing before golden gates, Heavenward feels like a release of sorrow into a memory of the joyousness of a life; ‘I’m going to celebrate you forever – I see you dancing on

Hayley Miller

Single Review – Wolf Alice – Beautifully Unconventional 

As every Wolf Alice fan knows, they are not a band to be labelled easily. And diversity is definitely on the cards with the North London four-piece’s soon to be released second album ‘Visions Of A Life’ due September 29th. Simply compare the bands previous singles; ‘Yuk Foo’, with its sharp teeth and punk-edged vengeance, and their second offering ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’, a swooningly delicate track bathed in glistening lightness with the Wolf Alice’s third single, and you’ll hear a band with a fearless appetite for expression. ‘Beautifully Unconventional’, the title itself seems to sum things up perfectly for the bands ever expanding sound, see’s Wolf Alice embracing their softer, cinematic side. Painting the picture of a partner in crime tale, Ellie Rowsell’s vocal plays with the description of female friendship, while layers of chunky guitars and delicate samples create an utterly captivating track; ‘I long to see (her arms above my soul), I long to be (with her forevermore)’.

Hayley Miller

Single Review – Wolf Alice – Don’t Delete The Kisses

After the first hint of Wolf Alice’s forthcoming second album ‘Visions Of A Life’, due for release on the 29th of September, in the shape of fiercely vengeful ‘Yuk Foo’ things calm down considerably with the band’s mellower second single ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’. A sweet track that gives a Pulp meets La Roux edge to Wolf Alice’s fuzzy alternative-rock. Ellie Rowsell whispers her insecurities of flirtatious texting softly in your ears, sighing through hazy verses in a way that seems to echo with the scribbled heartache of too many a love torn teen diary. Probably the closest to an out and out love song that Wolf Alice is likely to create, any romantic cliches are kept to a minimum wrapped in humanised chipped nail varnish and Dutch courage failures. Things are kept bright and airy as synths lift the track into a breezy though lyrically pessimistic chorus, and aren’t they really the best kind.

Hayley Miller

Single Review – Wolf Alice – Yuk Foo

First track from second LP ‘Visions Of A Life’, ‘Yuk Foo’ is a spite filled scream of vengeance; ‘I don’t want to be cruel, but you’re really grinding. I’m not a fool but I have a rage and it’s blinding.’ Siouxsie and the Banshees meet John Lydon in a dark alley while Black Francis throws stones, Ellie Rowsell’s, sometimes wonderfully yelped, vocals are fuelled with enough boiling, snarled anger to cut glass and reignite a nation of the disillusioned, tired and bored into a joyous form of anger that leaves you bouncing off the walls. Pushed forwards by a fearsome wall of industrial level grunge guitars and a bone shattering rhythm ‘Yuk Foo’ builds into a frenzy of twisted howls and splintered shrieks of frustration distilling everything that’s great about Wolf Alice into one of the best 2 minutes and 13 seconds of 2017.

Hayley Miller

Single Review – Alt-J – 3WW

The Leeds formed Indie and Art Rock group Alt-J are back with their third studio album and their lead single from it. Relaxer is set for a June 9th release and ‘3WW is one track from the list of just eight songs that make up the album. It opens with folk-like acoustic chords which echo into a sparse space with only the additional electronic addition. The opening vocals are reminiscent of old English folk songs in combination with the click beats. The song suddenly bursts into a chorus of vocals and sweeps off into a delicate piano ballad. From here it takes on the shape of a more typical Alt-J track with distortions and more prominent acoustic chords. Wolf Alice’s Ellie Roswell adds to the vocals to accentuate and diversify the song further. It is a shifting track that is dynamic and works in the changes of tone and style well. An interesting prospect for June but will they deliver? 

Owen Riddle

Musicandotherthingz.com Best Newcomer of 2015

We’re starting 2016 by looking back at the year before and giving credit where its due. We’re doing so through a set of seven “very prestigious” awards and winners have been made from nominees through the votes of the Musicandotherthingz team, it’s partners and friends. We commence the awards with the best newcomer category.

Listen to the full list of nominees here


3. Tobias Jesso Jr. (16%)

Tobias Jesso Jr.jpeg

Canadian, Tobias Jesso Jr. released his debut album Goon back in March and with it he showcased a mature songwriting ability through his simple arrangements akin to the style of many a singer-songwriter in the 1970s.


2.Wolf Alice (24%)

The Quartet from North London are led by Ellie Roswell and offer up a subtle blend of Alternative, Grunge and Indie in their sound. They had built up quite a reputation throughout 2013 and 14 and this set them in good stead for their debut album My Love is Cool which was released in June. They have since been nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Performance. Not bad for a debut year.


  1. Courtney Barnett (28%)

Melbourne based Courtney Barnett has been a revelation for many with her witty songwriting and her passive delivery set around some unrefined Alternative sounds. She was a deserving big winner at Australia’s ARIA Awards picking up four awards from eight nominations and has been nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy too. Expect to see and hear much more from Courtney in the future.










Single Review – Wolf Alice – Moaning Lisa Smile

Wolf Alice are from North London and consist of Ellie Roswell, Joel Amey, Joff Oddie and Theo Ellis. The group was initially a solo project of Roswell’s but since then she has went for the standard four piece. They are a band still finding their feet at the moment and that is why their latest offering is from another new EP in Creature Songs (Out May 26th) rather than a debut album. One track from this is ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ The gentle yet purposeful acoustic lapping from the offset is quickly shattered by a bulky distorted riff. Though it seems like the default setting of most new British bands and believe me I feel like I’m in autopilot describing it; it does retain that purposefulness and drive just about. The key to this song is Ellie Roswell. It is melancholy and chimed vocal that floats into separation from the other elements so well. The acoustic parts becoming a structural foundation for her vocal in the verses, but she more than holds her own in the raucous chorus. Lyrically too, it seems much more profound and worth another listen to decipher. However, you have to feel they could do a little better if they applied the imagination of the structure, lyrics and effectiveness of the vocals to the instrumentation, which sounds a little worn out and that sounded unoriginal back in 2011. They do seem like a group that are capable of getting the whole set up working at the same level though and let’s hope they can go to that next level and set themselves apart from a growing crowd of monotonous groups.   

Image from breakingmorewaves.blogspot.com