Wolf Alice’s ‘The Last Man on Earth’: A Breath of Fresh Air in theResurgence of Live Music
Since the success of their Mercury-award-winning album, Visions of a Life (2018),
fans of Wolf Alice have been holding their breath - eagerly awaiting welcomed whispers of a
new sound. Released just days after Boris Johnson announced plans to ease
lockdown restrictions, their new single, ‘The Last Man on Earth’, comes at a pivotal
time. The song is a reminder of the potential for a resurgence of live music in the
summer, which is a change of pace – not only for society but for Wolf Alice’s subtle
shift in sound.
Wolf Alice are renowned for their ability to fuse angelic tones with crowd-shaking
energy, and the ‘Last Man on Earth’ is no exception to their artistic excellence within
the alternative-rock genre. The single will, for many, be a soundtrack to a musical
come up. It forms part of Wolf Alice’s new album, ‘Blue Weekend’, which is due to be
released on June 11th – ten days before the supposed end to the national lockdown.
Lead singer Ellie Roswell’s initial vocal delicacy is an ode to some of their
earlier work in tracks like ‘Heavenly Creatures’ (2014) and ‘Blush’ (2013).
It is easy to be hesitant about the album’s potential upon an initial listen. Fans may
find themselves holding their breath, awaiting the epiphanic explosions that made
them fall in love with some of their earlier songs (‘Bros’/’Don’t Delete the Kisses’). In
true Wolf Alice fashion, it is worth the wait – the track doesn’t shift pace – it erupts;
‘The Last Man on Earth’ is a song to shout, dance, scream, and cry to. It explodes
with an orchestral ambience that we see in artists like Arcade Fire and Florence and
the Machine. This is unsurprising given that Markus Dravs helped produce work for
all three artists. These traces of other musicians gives the single an odd nostalgia that
somehow makes sense. The song, though a stranger to our ears, feels familiar. It
reminds fans of being an individual within a crowd of people, and how it feels to be
both singularly and collectively connected to music.
There is something brave in this song ‘about the arrogance of humans’ (Roswell). A
song that dedicates its aural landscape to oscillations between rage and awe. It
touches on loneliness, singularity, isolation, arrogance. And yet, it belongs within
crowds of people – a distant memory now that we are in 2021. The single is
reflective; whether you are listening alone on your daily walk, with housemates, or
whilst cooking, there is no doubt that this is a song that demands a live, organic
audience. If ‘The Last Man on Earth’ is even a slither of the albums potential, then it
will propel Wolf Alice into headlining festivals in the (hopefully) not-so-distant
“This album is for other people. Sometimes you hear a song and it
makes you feel better, or you hear a song and it makes you feel seen. I
remember feeling blue about something, and thinking, ‘I wonder what
songs I can listen to that will be about what I’m feeling right now’.”
(Ellie Roswell, Rolling Stones)
This album is for other people. And if we have learned anything of late, it is the value
of our family, our friends.
Our favourite musicians or artists.
Our neighbours and colleagues.
The value of bumping into old friends and making new ones. It is the value of being
in a group of strangers and making connections.
It is the value of being in a group of friends, but being comfortable in silence. We
know the value of others and the novelty of strangers.
The past year has felt like an everlasting inhale, and so, Wolf Alice’s ethereal sound
and storytelling is a much-needed exhale. The single is resoundingly optimistic,
teasing listeners with the concept of a live music renaissance. It reminds us of how it
feels to be in a crowd of people - no longer feeling like the last men and women on
Their album, Blue Weekend, is due for release on 11th June:
Blue Weekend Track List
1. “The Beach”
2. “Delicious Things”
3. “Lipstick on the Glass”
5. “Safe From Heartbreak (if You Never Fall in Love)”
6. “How Can I Make it OK?”
7. “Play the Greatest Hits”
8. “Feeling Myself”
9. “The Last Man on Earth”
10. “No Hard Feelings”
11. “The Beach II”
Pre Order the Album Here