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Wolf Alice on how coronavirus shaped ‘Blue Weekend’: “We’ve had more time than ever to explore”

"For the first time we've had more time to explore than we ever had in the studio"

By Rolling Stone UK

Wolf Alice pose for Rolling Stone UK
Wolf Alice pose for Rolling Stone UK (Picture: Rolling Stone UK)

Wolf Alice have discussed how the Coronavirus pandemic gave them more time than ever to work on their “emotional” third album.

The London band returned in June with ‘Blue Weekend’, which arrived to critical acclaim and bagged the band their third Mercury Prize nomination – having won the coveted accolade with their last album.

Asked how their third album differs from 2017’s ‘Visions Of A Life’, singer Ellie Rowsell told Rolling Stone UK: “I think Blue Weekend sounds vaster and we’ve used this word a lot, but wider. Bigger than before. It’s a very emotional album that still has punky and rocky stuff but a lot less than before.”

Rowsell and bandmate Theo Ellis were talking backstage at their Rolling Stone UK shoot, with the latter explaining how the lack of touring during the coronavirus pandemic allowed them to focus efforts on their third record.

“For the first time we’ve had more time to explore than we ever had in the studio. We were there for a long time!” said Ellis.

“Songs like ‘The Last Man on Earth’ are using organic instrumentation with pianos and string sections. We worked with an amazing arranger called Owen Pallett, who has worked with Arcade Fire, to combine those things with the synthesis and programming that Joel has got himself into, which was really interesting.”

He added: “The album has really benefited from the amount of time we were able to spend on it, which was a byproduct of Coronavirus but we still made an effort to go in detail on everything recorded on it.”

The band are also gearing up to take the record on the road for an extensive UK/European tour next year, having played a series of intimate dates and festival shows already.

“Playing live music again has been amazing,” Rowsell added.

“It was only when we got on stage again that I didn’t quite realise how much I had missed it. How much a big part of our lives it was. It just felt right.”