Everybody is blogging about them and for good reason. Wolf Alice were one of the most exciting potential crossover bands that we heard this year. Something of a musical chameleon, Wolf Alice lurched from the minimalistic folk-tinged beauty of Leaving You that got tongues wagging in 2012, into February’s playfully self-deprecating and fantastically raucous Fluffy. From the opening squall of noise grinding riffs combine with deep bass lines, attitude bursts from the seams alongside a melody that borders on sultry. It marked a definite change in tact, whilst behind the noise and bravado it still managed to sound like Wolf Alice. B-side White Leather could have been an a-side in its own right, a glimmering and heart-stopping love song that floats in the air with the delicate touch of a feather.
They followed this up with their second single of the year Bros, which is the kind of song that comes around only every couple of years. As the guitars in the intro fade into a shimmering, sparking explosion of sound and light I am lost to it. Like the feeling of love pulsing in the heart, it’s addictive. There is a timeless sentimentality to Bros, I suspect there is a science to writing the perfect pop song, and for me, it isn’t far off.
Wolf Alice kept the momentum going with their debut EP, the self-styled rock-opera Blush. The title track is the standout, hauntingly beautiful with the fragility in the opening bars betrayed by an inner strength that courses throughout. It’s not bluster; it feels real, proudly defiant and showcases that same ability to pierce through and illuminate the listeners heart, to write songs that scatter electrodes through the brain and crucially talk to you, the listener, as an individual. The next track, She, sees Wolf Alice head off into another new direction, agitated and twitchy, full of bristle and bustle. The video is a great watch, too. Nosedive and 90 Mile Beach further bolster their reputation, mixing the naivety of youth with the complexity of sound, hushed vocals, slow builds and charting the story of an ever expanding world, hurtling through space.
Wolf Alice are due to finish the year off with a headline set at Koko on NYE, and 2014 should see the release of Wolf Alice’s debut LP. If this showcases the same songwriting depth and flexibility as displayed in 2013 we can safely say that 2014 will be the year of the Wolf (Alice).