To some people, Wolf Alice burst onto the scene out of seemingly nowhere, but they’ve actually been going strong for quite some time. They’ve always had an extremely distinct style and unique sound, supported by intriguing songwriting and stellar vocals.
Although they’re best known for their signature indie rock tracks like ‘Bros’ and ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’, all of which offer a subtle, sultry, and somewhat dark tone, the band isn’t above transforming modern classics into their own and putting a special spin on them, and that’s exactly what they did when they covered Green Day’s ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’ for BBC.
Even for Green Day, this song denoted a bit of a tone shift for the group. It allowed them to explore a softer, more emotional songwriting from the rock and alternative sound they’ve come to be known for. So it almost makes sense that Wolf Alice would take this idea a step further. Not only do they lean into the softer, more emotional, slowed-down tone of the song, but they add their own sense of ambience and echo.
They also strip the song down, albeit in a different way. Instead of going for the full acoustic sound like Green Day did on the original track, they have a more lo-fi version, hinging on the electric guitar and the clear-ringing vocals, it brings the song into an entirely different light.
Yes, the track will always be recognisable for what it is. That’s the power of the song in its original form. It’s the graduation song. It’s the “I’ll miss my friends when we all go off to university” song. And that’s a part of what shows Wolf Alice’s real talent. They made the song their very own, and nearly divorced it from its distinct sentimentality—bringing about a new kind of sentimentality in the process.
When you listen to the song, especially with the simplicity of it all, it’s enough to give you chills. And that’s tough to do, especially for a song that has such a solidified identity in the cultural consciousness. It offers a different tinge of nostalgia, and that’s an impressive and curious feat.
If you want to hear Wolf Alice bring their own spin to a Green Day modern classic, you can check out their live cover of ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’ down below.