Year In Review: Wolf Alice

2017 was a massive year for London-based four piece Wolf Alice aka Theo Ellis, Ellie Rowsell, Joff Oddie, and Joel Amey. The group released their debut record My Love is Cool two years ago, which gave the band the chance to play their music on tours across the UK, America, Europe and other parts of the world. This fall however, the band released another full length record, Visions of A Life, which propelled the band forward on their career path. While this new record was a big moment in Wolf Alice’s 2017, the band also played their biggest live shows to date this year, and even recorded an official cover of a Tim Buckley song for their Spotify Singles session. Read highlights from our Year in Review recap for Wolf Alice below:
January 2017 - T2 Trainspotting Soundtrack:
At the beginning of the year, the group’s song “Silk” was featured on the soundtrack for the Trainspotting film sequel T2 Transporting, released on the 27th of January. “Silk” is taken from Wolf Alice’s 2015 debut record My Love is Cool, and can be heard during the film’s ending scene.
Wolf Alice - Silk (T2 Trainspotting)
May - Mysterious Postcards:
Around May, select Wolf Alice fans began to receive mysterious postcards in the mail with a numbered photo along with what appeared to be handwritten song lyrics on the card's back side. Fans later figured out that they all received one of twelve possible postcards this month - one for each song on the band’s upcoming record Visions of a Life, which would be announced the following month.
Dork Magazine in the UK compiled an article filled with photos of these postcards which you can read here.
June - Yuk Foo:
On June 2nd, Wolf Alice posted a photo of one of their mysterious postcards with the title "2. Yuk Foo" and the words "I have feelings, 'cos I'm a human / Totally self-destructing, constantly consuming" on their Twitter. This postcard ended up being a hint at the band's new song that would come out just a few days later. On the 12th of June, Wolf Alice officially released their first single in two years, "Yuk Foo," which was announced to appear on the band's second album Visions of a Life in September.
Yuk Foo
On that same day, Wolf Alice also announced tour dates for an intimate US tour that would take place throughout July, and dates for a UK tour in November.
July - Don't Delete The Kisses, Intimate US tour, Yuk Foo video:
On July 5, Wolf Alice's second single from Visions of a Life, "Don't Delete The Kisses" premiered on Apple Music’s Beats 1. When speaking about the song with The FADER, singer and guitarist Ellie Rowsell said, "I wanted it to be one of those head-out-the-window driving tunes; I wanted to do a hands-up, lay-all-bare love song. I thought, 'Okay, if I’m going to choose to write [a love song], I’m not going to hold back and make it discreet. I wanted to make it really obvious what I’m talking about. I was going to keep it sad, in the vein of the first couple of verses, and then I was like Nah, it’s too depressing to have a love story that doesn’t work out. I’m gonna Hollywood it, and make it happy'."
Don't Delete The Kisses
July 5 also marked the start of Wolf Alice's intimate US tour, where the band played in smaller venues across America such as Schubas Tavern in Chicago with a capacity of 165 people, Great Scott in Boston, and , which fit a mere 350 people in its room. For this tour, Wolf Alice opened up an entry form where local bands could apply to be the opening act on each of the city's respective tour dates. While Visions of a Life was not released by the time of this tour, the band played a few new songs at these shows including album cuts "Formidable Cool," "Visions of a Life," and "Planet Hunter" amongst others.
Wolf Alice's setlist at Schubas Tavern
Later in the month, on July 27, the video for "Yuk Foo" was released. At just over two minutes in length, the video packs a million punches into the song's short length as it shows the band performing in a gnarly, torn-up basement. You can watch the video below:
Wolf Alice - Yuk Foo
In the aforementioned interview with The FADER, Ellie talked about the sound of "Yuk Foo," saying: "I was on tour, and I’d been on tour for about one thousand years at that point. I was in Columbus, Ohio or somewhere. I wrote it really quickly, and I didn’t refine it. It was this outpour of emotion. I was in my dressing room — we were playing on this radio show, and there were lots of bands [in surrounding rooms]. I didn’t want anyone to hear me shouting, so I was shouting like a mouse into the microphone. Foals were in the dressing room next to me, and I was thinking, I wonder if they can hear me screaming “I wanna fuck all the people I meet”?
I must have had so much rage inside me, and it just came out. I’d just read that book, Our Band Could Be Your Life, about American hardcore, and I really wanted to make a three-minute, angry song. A lot of it is about expectations of me — as someone’s girlfriend, as someone’s friend, as someone in a band, as someone with a platform, as a woman."
"...I really wanted to make a three-minute, angry song. A lot of it is about expectations of me — as someone’s girlfriend, as someone’s friend, as someone in a band, as someone with a platform, as a woman."
August - Intimate UK tour:
Just as they did in the states the previous month, in August, Wolf Alice played an intimate tour in smaller venues across the UK like Aberdeen's The Garage, Tunbridge Wells's The Forum, and Guilford's Boileroom to name a few.
Wolf Alice - Blush - The Venue, Derby - 2017/08/16
September - BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, Visions of a Life + On the Road documentary:
On September 19th, Wolf Alice stopped by the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge studio to perform three songs - "Beautifully Unconventional," the third single from Visions of a Life, "Bros," and a cover of Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)."
Wolf Alice - Beautifully Unconventional in the Live Lounge
Then, on the 29th of September, Wolf Alice's long-awaited second record Visions of a Life was released on Dirty Hit Records. The record became a fan favorite and it skyrocketed to a number two spot on the UK Album Charts after only being out for one week.
That same day, a rock documentary starring Wolf Alice was released in UK theaters called On The Road. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, the documentary shows clips of Wolf Alice's touring life; performing on stage, interacting with one another during interviews, on their tour bus, at airports, and after gigs, but there is also a made-up aspect of the documentary that involves two fictional crew members - Estelle and Joe - who join Wolf Alice on the road. You can watch the trailer for the film below:
On The Road | Official Trailer 2017
November - UK + European tour, Spotify Singles session, Stephen Colbert:
Wolf Alice played two shows in Japan in Tokyo and Osaka at the end of October, and a few days later, began their UK and European headline tour alongside opening acts Superfood and Sunflower Bean. While the tour just ended on November 28th in Dublin, Ireland, this tour found Wolf Alice playing bigger venues across the UK and Europe, including the band's largest gig to date at London's Alexandra Palace where they performed to over 10,000 fans.
Wolf Alice's setlist from Ally Pally
On November 15th, Wolf Alice's Spotify Singles session began streaming on Spotify. This session included two songs - an acoustic version of their song "Don't Delete The Kisses," and a cover of Tim Buckley's "Song To The Siren" from the 1970 record Starsailor.
At the end of the month, Wolf Alice's performance on the American talk show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert aired, where the group played "Sadboy," another ethereal cut from their new record.
Wolf Alice Performs 'Sadboy'
December - Second North American tour:
On December 1st, Wolf Alice began their second mini North American tour in Toronto, Ontario at Danforth Music Hall. The tour ends in a few days on the 11th of this month in Atlanta Georgia, but remaining tour dates and ticket links can be found at the band's official site.
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Last updated: 16 Jul 2019, 00:12 Etc/UTC