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Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend - LP -

Price per Unit (stuk): €36.95

Not everyone has the energy, confidence, or money to be among the crowd at Glastonbury or Primavera, playing Tetris with the festival schedule, shuttling between three different stages trying to catch the best 10 minutes of every set. Wolf Alice’s extravagantly emotive third LP, Blue Weekend, is a safe substitute for the experience, not just for 2021 but for virtually any year between 2017’s Visions of a Life and now. Blue Weekend is fluent in both alt-rock and the domain of pop artists that are most likely to headline alt-rock festivals. They’re the platonic ideal for big-tent rock music in 2021: lead singer Ellie Rowsell gives 20-somethings the megaphone of a superhuman, working through vices, crises of confidence, and a pervasive misogyny that success has only worsened, upending UK lad-rock supremacy while staying firmly within its lineage.

Blue Weekend makes ample use of the big Wolf Alice jukebox. When the negative space is flooded with reverb, Wolf Alice flaunt the glitziest production values ever heard on a shoegaze album; turn the reverb down and they’re a more guitar-centered version of big-budget bedroom-pop. “Safe From Heartbreak (if i never fall in love)” is Wolf Alice’s entry into indie-adjacent, twang-free country-pop; strip away the floodlit harmonies that make Rowsell sound like a one-woman Staves and the 12-string overdubs and it’s an Elliott Smith song.

But if there’s any overarching pop culture trend defining Wolf Alice’s existence, it’s how they repackage existing IP to reflect modern sensibilities. This is where Wolf Alice’s impact feels most distinct: Rowsell eyerolls her way through “Last Man on Earth,” which variously recalls Bowie, the Beatles, and Pink Floyd as she mocks the mythos of male genius that animates classic rock boosterism. “Smile” barely conceals its disdain for critical condescension as the band works through a funk-metal groove that could serve as the theme song for a gender-flipped reboot of Entourage.

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