Wolf Alice, Britain’s best band, today released their uncompromising new single “Smile”. The track was inspired by lead singer Ellie Rowsell’s desire to fight back against those who try to define her, and is the second single from their highly-anticipated third album, Blue Weekend, the follow up to the Mercury Prize winning Visions of a Life
“Smile” is carried along on a tide of visceral energy, a song destined to be a live favourite. The band envisaged this during their time recording Blue Weekend in Brussels during lockdown. Rowsell states, “this is one of the songs we wrote thinking that we would play it live. I miss that feeling of singing on stage. It’s like screaming into a pillow or something — you can get away with being more nasty. There’s a whole other part of me missing.”
“Smile” is accompanied by a video directed by Jordan Hemmingway (Gucci, Raf Simons, Comme Des Garçons), the band’s second collaboration with Hemmingway, following previous single “The Last Man On Earth” (watch). The saturated visuals of the band in full-flow, combined with the casting of riotous punk extras and pub locals, provide the ideal hedonistic backdrop to the track.
“The Last Man On Earth” spent 7 weeks on the BBC Radio 1 A-List. It was premiered by Annie Mac as her Hottest Record In The World, further cementing a longstanding relationship between the band and Annie. Last week, the band released a special live version of “The Last Man On Earth” which can be viewed below.
The release of “Smile” follows the news of the band announcing a 2022 UK & Ireland tour, their first headline shows since 2018. For the full list of dates see below, to purchase tickets go to https://wolfalice.co.uk/#tickets. Before then, on May 22, Wolf Alice will play the Glastonbury Presents Live at Worthy Farm Livestream alongside Coldplay, Michael Kiwanuka, Haim and more.
Wolf Alice UK & Ireland January 2022 Tour Dates
05 January – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow, UK (EXTRA DATE)
07 Jan – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow, UK (SOLD OUT)
08 January – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow, UK (SOLD OUT)
09 Jan – O2 City Hall, Newcastle, UK
10 Jan – UEA, Norwich, UK (SOLD OUT)
12 Jan – O2 Apollo, Manchester, UK (SOLD OUT)
13 Jan – O2 Apollo, Manchester, UK (EXTRA DATE)
14 Jan – O2 Academy, Sheffield, UK (SOLD OUT)
15 Jan – Uni Mountford Hall, Liverpool, UK (SOLD OUT)
18 Jan – Eventim Apollo, London, UK (SOLD OUT)
19 Jan – Eventim Apollo, London, UK (EXTRA DATE)
22 Jan – O2 Guildhall, Southampton, UK (SOLD OUT)
23 Jan – De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill On Sea, UK
24 Jan – Olympia Theatre, Dublin, IRE (EXTRA DATE)
25 Jan – Olympia Theatre, Dublin, IRE (SOLD OUT)
27 Jan – O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK
28 Jan – Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth, UK
30 Jan – O2 Academy, Bristol, UK (SOLD OUT)
31 Jan – O2 Academy, Bristol, UK (EXTRA DATE)
Wolf Alice are Ellie Rowsell (vocals, guitar), Joff Oddie (guitar, vocals), Theo Ellis (bass) and Joel Amey (drums, vocals). It has been a decade since the band began as a duo of Ellie Rowsell and Joff Oddie, then later expanding to a four-piece, with Joel Amey and Theo Ellis joining the group.
Since then, the band saw their 2015 debut album My Love Is Cool soar to #2 on the UK charts, their sophomore album Visions Of A Life win the 2018 Hyundai Mercury prize, and a GRAMMY nomination for Best Rock Performance. The band played a massive 187 shows on the Visions Of A Life world tour – including a sold out Alexandra Palace, 2 sold out dates at Brixton Academy, and a set on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.
It was no surprise that creating a follow-up to Visions Of A Life was a daunting task. The record was a huge success, which subsequently led to many months spent on tour – with intercontinental flights, hotels and long-bus journeys taking a toll on the band.
The band decamped to an Airbnb in Somerset, and it was there that they reconfigured who they were together, far away from festival stages, tour buses, awards shows, and fans. They cemented their friendship and set to work on some fledgling demos in a converted church. These demos evolved into Blue Weekend, a record produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Björk, Brian Eno, Florence + The Machine) who has aided the band in refining their sound to an even sharper point. Rowsell’s personal storytelling is at the core of Blue Weekend, an album that sees Wolf Alice embrace a newfound boldness and vulnerability in equal measure.