Wolf Alice have returned in emphatic style with their brand-new single, ‘The Last Man On Earth’.
The single is the first taste of new music from the Londoner’s since their last record, which came in 2017 when they shared Visions Of A Life. It was a project that took home the coveted Mercury Prize the following year and cemented their status as one of the finest contemporary acts around. Fans have been waiting patiently since for a taste of album number three, and ‘The Last Man On Earth’ is unlike anything they’ve done before. The group slow things down to deliver a profound sermon that leaves the listener kneeling at the altar at their greatness.
“It’s about the arrogance of humans,” lead singer Ellie Rowsell commented, explaining the lyrics. “I’d just read Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle and I had written the line ‘Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god’ in my notes. But then I thought: ‘Uh, your peculiar travel suggestion isn’t a dancing lesson from god, it’s just a travel suggestion! Why does everything need to mean something more?'”
The majority of ‘The Last Man On Earth’ is Rowsell’s naked vocals, backed only by a gentle piano, which emphasises every word and adds gravitas to every single note she sings. There’s a sense of purity that oozes out of the track, making it feel like a cardinal moment in Wolf Alice’s career.
Discussing the new album, Blue Weekend, which is out on June 11th via Dirty Hit, Rowsell added: “This album is for other people. Sometimes you hear a song and it makes you feel better, or you hear a song and it makes you feel seen. I remember feeling blue about something, and thinking, ‘I wonder what songs I can listen to that will be about what I’m feeling right now’.”
She continued: “It was almost as if I was desperate to feel better about something, and I would go down any path to feel not alone in something, or to understand it more. And I’ve never really done that before intentionally, I’d never really sought it out.”
‘The Last Man On Earth’ marks a sonic departure for the group, who haven’t released anything as unfiltered as the track ever before. The song feels like the start of a new dawn for the band, who aren’t in the same place in life as they were four years ago, and the track hints towards an increased reflectiveness in their work.
After releasing the universally-lauded, A Visions Of Life, Wolf Alice seemingly took their time and evolved, rather than trying to re-capture their last album. This willingness to keep moving things forward both sonically and lyrically explains why Wolf Alice are one of the most important bands of the last decade.