Pick of the Week: Wolf Alice “Smile”

Wolf Alice Smile
Graphics by Maeve Huttner

By Riley Greenstein, Web Services Coordinator

We’re just a month away from the release of Wolf Alice’s third studio album, Blue Weekend. The British alternative rock band recently teased fans with “Smile,” the album’s second single. While their previous offering, “The Last Man on Earth,” was a contemplative piano ballad, “Smile” turns the dial all the way to the right. After a brief, watery intro, the track bursts to life with a distorted guitar riff and energetic drums. The verses keep the party going, with a crunchy bassline from Theo Ellis and a breathy speak-song performance from Ellie Roswell. It’s a perfectly tense moment that erupts into the chorus, taking you on a rollercoaster of emotion.

Roswell’s lyrics suit this new sound very well. “Smile” is a statement of purpose, an anthem of affirmations in the midst of a world trying to bring you down. She proclaims, “I ain’t ashamed in the fact that I’m sensitive, I believe that it is the perfect adjective.” She confidently asserts herself, commanding the respect she demands while pushing against assumptions and stereotypes. “Smile” is raw, honest, and a perfect catharsis for those moments when you’re unfairly underestimated.

Blue Weekend is set to come out on June 4th, a week earlier than previously announced. It’s Wolf Alice’s first new music since their extended hiatus following 2017’s Visions of a Life. That sophomore album won the band a Mercury Prize, so we’re all excited to see what they do next. And if “Smile” is a sign of anything, it’s that they’re still pushing boundaries a decade into their career.

 

Every Monday, our music staff brings you a new Pick of The Week, detailing some of our favorite songs. Check out our previous Picks of the Week here, and make sure to tune in to WERS 88.9FM!

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