OTW #481: Wolf Alice

The lovechild of folk and grunge

When Ellie Rowsell first started playing as Wolf Alice she can’t have possibly charted the interest that was about to soon follow. Although it's taken a change to the line up in recent months that now sees the addition of Joel Amey, Theo Ellis and Joff, Ellie’s creation now boasts a new found belief and one that’s finally seeing them surf the wave as flourished game-changers.

This new mood that has swept though the London four-piece has seen them navigate the ones to watch features and dominate the new-year listings in superb style. But such hype has only caused the bands confidence to grow, as Ellie tells Clash “I'd say it probably has boosted our confidence. It feels good to know that people are recommending us to their audience, I don't think it affects the way we play, we'd still try and practice regardless.”

Recent single ‘Fluffy’, which has already clocked up plays on Radio 1, perhaps best charts the bands' progress and proves practice makes perfect. Having made a spectacular entrance with ‘Leaving You’, ‘Fluffy’ marks a remarkable statement of intent and can only certify their reputation as one of London's hottest new acts. Joel Amey decided to take this one up when we spoke to the band about their songwriting, “Joff and Ellie have tons of great ideas that we take into awful smelling, badly soundproofed rehearsal rooms and kick about until they begin to take shape.”

On closer inspection, ‘Fluffy’ feels removed from the ground that bore their previous track ‘Leaving You’, instead delivers confidence with a ballsy and unabashed nonchalance that only a malodorous studio could deliver.

It’s in the live performances of Wolf Alice, where the praise and attention has really taken hold and to which environment the band come into their own. Known for their ragged live sets, the band tell Clash some of the more interesting stories that have come out of their shows as Joel starts, “Even though I still suck at drums, I'm better than I was, so I feel more confident. The last show we played I threw in a fill that I 'improved' and it was the greatest moment of mine and the audiences lives” he jokes. Ellie picks up the thread painting an equally awkward picture, “once we played a gig to about 6 people at an after-school club. This old lady came up to us afterwards and said 'you didn’t look at me much and I didn’t recognise any of your songs.' I like to think we took a few lessons from her and are now much better.”

There should be no misconceptions about Wolf Alice being your average indie band. With a mix of tender vocals encompassing a mesmerising soundtrack, this group of kids happen to know their own worth. So what does the future hold? Ellie concludes “We got a lot of songs we really want to show people but for now they’re only available to hear live at our shows. We've got some festivals to look forward to but we're not rushing an album just yet.”

When it sounds this good… why rush?

Words by Matthew French ( Follow on Twitter – @matthewfrench10)

Where: London
What: The lovechild of folk and grunge
Get 3 Songs: ‘Fluffy’, ‘Leaving You’, ‘White Leather’
Unique fact: The name Wolf Alice was adopted from a book Ellie stole by Angela Carter from the school library

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