Review: Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

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My Love Is Cool is a daringly diverse debut album from Wolf Alice. It is exciting, it is rocky, and it is as harsh as it is melodic.

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The debut album from Wolf Alice has blossomed in the form of My Love Is Cool, their first release since the Creature Sounds EP in 2014. The North London based four-piece have produced something exciting with their debut, and for that, it deserves to be taken through track by track.

My Love Is Cool opens with what appears to be doom and gloom in ‘Turn To Dust’, before lead vocalist Ellie Rowsell clears the air with her startlingly angelic voice, which contrasts to the twanging guitars of the track. The choral tone to her voice brings something different to Wolf Alice that sometimes goes awry amid the shouts of other tracks. The unexpectedly soft introduction is carried through to ‘Bros’- a beautiful track, combining wistful strings and nostalgic lyrics about two kids playing together.

It isn’t until ‘Your Loves Whore’ that we find the rockier side of Wolf Alice on their debut LP. Its beginning isn’t dissimilar to the softer side of some Foo Fighters tracks, and welcomes the presence of rocky guitars onto the album. ‘You’re A Germ’ could lull you into a false sense that this softness is going to be continued, which would not have made it a terrible album. The raw softness found on the opening tracks to the album add a beautiful tone, but what Wolf Alice give us with this album is a lot more. Opening with gentle guitar pickings, the track then launches you into more of a grunge track as we are introduced to Rowsell’s vocals amid heavy guitar riffs, crashing symbols and waning “ahhs”.

‘You’re A Germ’ begins with a simple guitar rhythm combined with the jauntily paced lyrics found on ‘Your Loves Whore’. It differentiates itself from the album so far with clashing guitars and punchy drums somehow without being jarring. It feels like Wolf Alice have gradually built themselves to this point on the album to showcase some shouting and raucous laughter amongst their more melodic side. ‘Lisbon’, too, immerses listeners in clashing guitars and a grunge feel.

With ‘Silk’, Wolf Alice ease you in from a distance with carefully twanging guitar pickings, and a deeper, darker tone with haunting echoes. There is something distinctly poppy about this track, and in the repeatedly bouncy lyric: “drink the juice, feeling fine”. ‘Freazy’ showcases fast-paced and punchy lyrics and futuristic melodies that work as an undercurrent to the track, creating intricate lyrics. It also features a lyrical hat-tip to the album’s title with “our love is cool”.

‘Giant Peach’ is perhaps the most recognisably Wolf Alice track of the album. It brings us building guitars, an exciting beat and more instrumentation than lyrics. Before Rowsell’s vocals feature on ‘Giant Peach’, we enjoy a minute devoted to the rocky side of Wolf Alice. The tone and pace of Rowsell’s voice feels strangely Blondie, but with a lot more punch thanks to the rest of the band and the eventual clashing guitars combined with shouting. ‘Swallowtail’ steers us away from Rowsell’s vocals into soft male tones on definitively one of the more quiet songs on the album. It interestingly offsets the rock of ‘Giant Peach’ and flies us towards the album’s conclusion, with isolated guitar melodies and gentle synth reverberations. ‘Soapy Water’ manages to encompass a techno vibe, with a staccato beat and breathy vocals.

The album begins to draw to a close with ‘Fluffy’, Wolf Alice’s debut single from way back in February 2013. It has the same grungy feel as ‘Giant Peach’, with jarring guitar slides and a heavy drum beat, and despite being two years later, the screams of “fluffy” still work. My Love Is Cool is completed with ‘The Wonderwhy’, opening softly but offsetting Rowsell’s breathy vocals with eerily electronic echoes. The track ties together some of the more sinister elements of the band’s debut, whilst showcasing the melodic vocals that transcend across its majority.

My Love Is Cool is a brave and daring debut album from Wolf Alice. It’s diverse, and it’s multi-genre. Some might say that they are simply trying to tick everyone’s boxes, but I think they are trying to make sure they aren’t pinned into a box themselves. A truly great debut album.

My Love Is Cool will be released on Monday 22nd June via Dirty Hit, and is available to pre-order now.

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Third year English student, Records Editor, list maker and lover of Kinder Buenos.

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