After a rubbish year, Wolf Alice‘s much-anticipated return feels like a shared point of positivity.
It’s been a challenging year. Isolation, loneliness, despair and fear – emotions that will now feel all too familiar to many. On occasion, the hardiest among us must still feel the doubts and worries creeping in. Even as cautious positivity dares to show its first green shoots, questions still remain; will the world we knew before ever truly return?
All of which seems a very grand (and somewhat downbeat) way to introduce a few hundred words about a band’s comeback single, but those shared points of hope are increasingly difficult to find in ‘these unprecedented times’. With doom-scrolling social media feeds swamped in the thick mud of stress and anxiety, it takes something extraordinary to push through. Artists who provoke something more than a short, sharp adrenaline rush are to be cherished more than ever.
Wolf Alice have always been that. An organic, living, breathing wonder, uncovering the unspoken thoughts others couldn’t. Drifting between hazy, ghost-like dioramas, they’re something different. Special, even. And that’s precisely what ‘The Last Man on Earth’ is too. Special.
Both typically Wolf Alice, and yet entirely unique; while the temptation to return with a loud, brash klaxon call so often wins through, ‘The Last Man on Earth’ is subtle yet powerful. Ellie Rowsell’s show-stopping presence pushed to the fore, its layers build delicately until, almost before there’s the chance to fully realise, that familiar spell takes hold.
Lyrically, this isn’t some cloying, pious hymn – it (somewhat fittingly) focuses on the arrogance of humanity – but with self-realisation comes the lifting of a veil. As cleansing waves crash over barrier walls, that guitar solo kicks in – a familiar tone that echoes simpler, brighter days. What started as subtle is suddenly anthemic. What was intimate feels far bigger, a perfect moment captured in time. Nature is healing. Everything will be ok in the end.