Just over a year from the release of Wolf Alice’s stellar album Blue Weekend, the Brit award-winning band are back with their own new take on acoustic covers of their hits, an endeavour bands all inevitably delve into. Don’t jump to conclusions though, Blue Lullaby is far from a regular acoustic album. As the name suggests the new takes on old songs are not just meant to be covers that we expect with a stripped back acoustic guitar and vocals, they are meant to be calming lullabies that soothe and nurture us.
When I first listened to Blue Weekend, I was just finishing my first year of university in London and facing a move back home for the summer. Just as the city was opening up again after lockdowns, I wasn’t wanting to leave so I made the most of my time here last June and those memories are solidly linked to the music I was devoutly listening to at the time – Blue Weekend. Now, a year later, Blue Lullaby has made me reminisce with its intimate takes on ‘Lipstick On The Glass’, ‘How Can I Make It OK?’, ‘No Hard Feelings’, ‘Feeling Myself’ and ‘The Last Man on Earth’.
To transform the tracks into lullabies fit to rock a baby to sleep, Wolf Alice have traded booming drums and fuzzy guitars for fingerpicked rhythms, string accompaniments and laid-back percussion. ‘The Last Man on Earth’ and ‘No Hard Feelings’ already felt like lullabies, so these changes are most noticeable on ‘Feeling Myself’ where gigantic synths in the bridge have been swapped for elegant orchestral melodies.
You wouldn’t expect there to be room for a string quartet to fit by a baby’s bedside, so the most important part of a lullaby is usually the vocals and Ellie Roswell’s angelic vocals fit all the tracks perfectly. These stand out in the songs where the instrumentation takes a back seat to exhibit Roswell herself. ‘No Hard Feelings’ is ethereal with only a piano accompaniment and ‘The Last Man on Earth’ builds up to a particularly celestial chorus with a choir of Roswell’s belting out harmonies to end the EP.
Blue Weekend was such a beautifully unique album and I think this is what makes everyone listening have such an individual connection to it. Nostalgia for a summery London I was about to leave is mine and I’m sure there are thousands of others that will be awoken by the even more personal Blue Lullaby.