Looking at the commuters packed into trains and Tubes with plastic earrings from crackers stuffed in their ears (also known as Apple AirPods) I always used to wonder what they were listening to.
What was worth downloading on to their phone and spending their two hour commute to work bobbing their heads along to?
I didn’t think there was anything new worth listening to and didn’t want to download anything old to punctuate the endless journey to work.
The Covid-19 pandemic changed all that. It’s made me fall in love with music again and rediscover Wolf Alice.
In the olden days I would seldom reach home before 8pm but nowadays working from home means I can lie on the floor for an hour after work before listening to Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1.
And it was on one such day back in February that I was in the shower (after running for an hour rather than lying on the floor) and I heard The Last Man on Earth.
It was the brand new single from the band from London and it was hotter than the water than I was washing myself with.
I don’t get excited about many things these days but I was really looking forward to the next single, which happened to be Smile in April, then No Hard Feelings which came out in May and then earlier this month there was How Can I Make It Okay?
If you know how excited Jack Saunders is about Wolf Alice, I’m on the same level.
And then two weeks ago (June 4th) the album Blue Weekend came out.
I would have reviewed it before then but unlike my Sticky fanzine days I’m not on any PR lists.
I would have reviewed it last week but I was busy winning a comedy competition.
If I had to describe it in one word I’d say “Brilliant” but I’m the editor of Fiskal Policy so am going to let myself have more words without, I hope, being lost in the sea of music journalism metaphors crossed with a nine-year-old’s book report.
I bought it on both red vinyl and blue cassette tape because for the first time in a long time, it’s an album I want to be able to hold on to.
I want the physical sensation because it is a very passionate, deeply emotive album.
At a festival with most people slightly out of tune and singing right next to your ears some of the beauty might be lost but on the album Ellie’s vocals have an ethereal quality. They float over but also are a part of the music.
I’m not sure whether I’d be down at the front or just lying on the grass letting the music wash over me (or dancing in the rain if it was Glastonbury) but I would be so happy to see them.
Happy because every track on the album is simply amazing. Every track has an intimacy to it – I too just want you to be happy – but is also big and powerful and mesmerising.
And when I do see them play in January 2022 I think I’ll remember them a lot more than when I saw them at Glastonbury in 2015.
Yes, when I said earlier on in this episode that I’d rediscovered Wolf Alice, I was recently reminded that on the Thursday night of Glastonbury six years ago I was there when they did a secret set in William’s Green.
Usually I remember everything in life, from what someone was wearing on a particular day 15 years ago to what I ate before going to see Paddington live at the Palace Theatre in Watford decades ago.
But in my defence for not remembering Wolf Alice six years ago, it was the first day of Glastonbury so it is very likely there had been a lot of wine in a box and cheap lager consumed at the tent before heading to the stages.
So I’m recommending you treat yourself to at least one copy of the third album and then be like me and get yourself the first and second albums too.
Stay safe for another week!