At the start of 2013, North London’s indie rock darlings Wolf Alice crept into the world with their debut single ‘Fluffy’ a short and sharp, bratty affair that signaled the start of something special for the quartet.
Fast-forward to two and half years later, 2015 has seen them heralded as the ‘next big thing’ in the indie music scene, thanks so hundreds of shows, a handful of singles and EP releases and a killer debut album titled My Love Is Cool (out via Sony).
To celebrate the releases of their new album the four piece will be visit Australia for a second time this month to play Splendour in the Grass as well as two sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney. Ahead of their Aussie visit we caught up with the band’s vocalist and guitarist Ellie Rowsell who gave us a track by track run down of their stunning debut full length. Cehck it out below and be sure to catch the guys while they’re here (dates below).
Turn to Dust
“This song is one the newer songs on the album. I kind of started making a demo in my room, it was a bit weird and I was like ‘eh we’ll probably never use it’, but then I showed everyone and they were like ‘oh this is cool’.
We went too Joel’s (Amey drums) mum’s house because we often go there to make demos because it’s in the countryside and there’s no distractions. We started putting on different layers and made it a lot less weird and more ‘cool’ if you will. Initially I put my flute on it, because I used to play the flute – and I was like ‘I’ve never put flute on a track before’. Sadly that didn’t make the final version, but that’s probably a good thing.”
“‘Bros’ is one of the older ones, a couple of years old really. I made a home demo of it, it was the first home demo I’d made and I tried really hard to make it sound legit.
I put it on Soundcloud and Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1 dj) played the home demo even though I didn’t have a manager or record label or radio plugger, and I was like ‘what the hell? how did he find this?’ I remember thinking ‘ok this song must be good if he’s picking up a home demo on my Soundcloud without having heard of us or anything.
Then we kind of changed it in the rehearsal room and made more of a live version when we recorded in the studio. Then when we went to make the album we wanted to put it on even though we’d already released it. We thought if we plonked on the old version it wouldn’t sit right with the rest of the tracks, so we re-recorded it again and tried to meet in the middle of the studio and home demo version.”
Your Loves Whore
“This started out as just an introduction, it was just an intro we played to our set, it was literally like 20 seconds long, we’d play it then go onto another song. Then we were like ‘why do we play that? it’s stupid – let’s make it into a real song. We kind of mashed together the ideas we had. It’s one of the only proper love songs on the album.”
You’re a Germ
“‘You’re A Germ’ started with a home demo. I wanted to make something loud and fun. I had this phrase in my head ‘you’re a germ’ and I really liked it and based the song around that.
It was recorded late and night and I lived with other people so I couldn’t be loud so when I was trying to make the shouting parts I kind of had to shout really quietly and it came out really weird. But it kind of gave it the vibe I wanted, like a Pixies vibe. It was angry but not typically loud- it’s initially what I wanted it to have.”
“This started off as a demo Joff (Oddie guitars, vocals) made on his phone and we liked it so we went to Joel’s mum’s house worked it out and made it what it is today. He told me he wrote the lyrics about the Virgin Suicides (Book) so when I wrote some more lyrics on top of it it’s what I had in mind.”
“This is the newest song on the album. I had read Edie Sedgwick’s biography and I was kind of inspired by her personality, or at least what I had read of it, and I wrote about the tragedy of that.
We always used to laugh in the studio ’cause we always imagined a glam movie star singing this song, like a Blanche DuBois whenever we did vocals for the song we were like ‘channel that Blanche DuBois’.”
“‘Freazy’ is a really old song that changed for the album. It’s our most poppy side, it’s one of our favourite ones. We were apprehensive to but it on the album ’cause it felt a bit too much like a jump from anything we’ve released before. It’s not a song we feel comfortable playing live just yet ’cause it’s so pop. It’s almost awkward. But we just loved listening to it, so we couldn’t not put it on.”
“We made this one in a rehearsal room, it was called ‘The Jam’ for ages ’cause that’s what we wanted a jammy song. We thought that was missing from our live set – something fancy, something groovy, and yeah just a bit less ‘verse, chorus verse chorus’. It’s a mishmash of old ideas.”
“This started as a demo Joel sent to us and it was really punky and thrashy and I was like ‘this is really good, but the words are so good and so sad and your voice is so good but over the top of this punk song you don’t really appreciate it, what does it sound like if you slowed it down and made it more mellow?’ He did and it was really heartbreaking and we’re like ‘oh you gotta keep it like this’ but when we were rehearsing it was a bit boring to play, so it moulded into the old version.”
“‘Soapy Water’ had a few variations, it had the acoustic version and an electoinic version. I guess when you’re in the studio it’s more fun to layer things so we went with the more electronic side. It’s the most personal song I wrote on the album.”
“This was first song released over here in the UK, and when we started to make the album we were really upset ’cause we thought the old recording never sounded very good it didn’t do the song justice. So we wanted to re-record it so it’s quite nice to go full circle and put the first song we released on the album.”
“This track was moulded and came together when we went to Joel’s house and made a demo of it. it’s more of a weird side of us. that kind of introspective what the hell is going on I’m scared of everything thing we tried to do but didn’t often do. it just felt right to put it on the end of the album, a big kind of question mark at the end of the album.”
Australian Show Dates
Jul 23 The Corner Hotel Melbourne
Jul 24 Oxford Art Factory Sydney
Ticket and info at www.wolfalice.co.uk