I first saw Wolf Alice in the basement of a pub venue. Packed to capacity, they played to a crowd that was a-buzz with excitement, after opening with the disclaimer that, despite what their twitter followers may think, they’re not actually from Birmingham (but they were very glad to be there). Now, with a debut single release under their collective belts, and numerous festival appearances lined up for summer, it’s clear that they’ve started to hit broader market. But who exactly are the feral-named four-piece?
Wolf Alice started out as the creative output of one individual – Ellie Rowsell. With the addition of Joff Oddie, then later Joel Amey and Theo Ellis, the band matured. From the folky origins early track of ‘Wednesday’, through the more electric ‘Leaving You’, to latest bold-and-brash single ‘Fluffy’, there’s a clear progression: a growing confidence and an established sense of identity. Wolf Alice have seemingly embraced their animalistic nature, taking on a grungy persona not dissimilar to Elastica, or Hole.
But unlike the character in the story that gives the band their name (written by Angela Carter, if you’re interested), Wolf Alice are fully self-aware. One listen to their current singles b-side, ‘White Leather’ will leave you marvelling at the difference. Whilst ‘Fluffy’ roars and screeches with an energy and intensity that all but forces your appreciation, ‘White Leather’ is serene, slow, and steady. It’s evoked comparisons to the likes of The XX – with its spacious melodies and soaring vocals, it’s easy to see why. Far from finding their feet, Wolf Alice know exactly who they are and where they’re going – and they’re doing it oh so well.
If you want to catch them before they really hit the stratosphere, the band are currently preparing their party hats to support Tribes (along with Birmingham upstarts Superfood) at The Roundhouse on 29th May, and then they play their biggest headline show to date on 4th June at The Lexington, both in London. They also have a few festival appearances lined up for the long summer months, dates and details for which can be found on their Facebook.