Back in June, in the week intro track Yuk Foo was released, Wolf Alice’s manager Stephen Taverner promised Music Week that the band’s second album would be “a monster”.
Today, Visions Of A Life is finally is unleashed upon the world, with the London band - who formed in 2010, becoming a quartet in 2012 - bidding to do what they didn’t quite manage first time round: top the albums chart. Back in 2015, Florence + The Machine’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful pipped them to top spot.
With 108,460 sales of debut My Love Is Cool in the bag, and a relentless international touring schedule – including a date at London’s Alexandra Palace in November – to come, Wolf Alice appear well placed to make their mark with album two.
Wolf Alice’s story continues to captivate a fanbase that hangs on their every move, and in Taverner’s East City Management and their label Dirty Hit, they have a team committed to pushing them further and further.
Last month, Music Week gathered singer Ellie Rowsell, Taverner and Dirty Hit founder Jamie Oborne to hear the story of Visions Of A Life. Subscribers can revisit that feature here. Read on for Taverner’s thoughts on the new album and the development of a band he says are “a force to be reckoned with”…
What makes you so ambitious about this record?
The band have obviously evolved and matured in terms of their songwriting since the first record. And they wrote a lot of that album when they were quite young, some of it when they were teenagers, so obviously they are going to mature, and I just think this record’s got not only a maturity but an international commercial appeal, in terms of rock radio and traditional rock formats around the world. We immediately got a few stations on board around the world, including Triple J in Australia, and already we can see it reacting in sales and streams.
Didn’t the first one have that same appeal?
Yes. The first one, you know it was their first album, and it was probably the band finding their feet as well, in the marketplace and as a band even. Everything was all so new to them. Like any band with a first record, it’s always like, ‘Alright here we go, what happens next?’ kind of thing. You find out as you go along. Whereas with this record, we’ve got a very definite plan in place; it’s a global plan and I think we’ve certainly got the ammunition to do some serious sort of damage I think globally.
What’s different about the band this time round?
Working with someone like Justin [Meldal-Johnsen] has been really good for them. He’s obviously a seasoned veteran when it comes to playing as a musician, as well as being a producer. I think that’s been a really great experience for them. And then Tom Elmhurst mixing as well, I think that broadened out the sound of the band, compared to the first record. I don’t know about the band changing themselves, it’s just purely about the natural evolution of a band, you know, as they’re getting older – and they’re still in their early-to-mid-twenties – but as they grow with the creative process, they’ve just naturally evolved into a force to be reckoned with. And Ellie [Rowsell] in particular, is becoming a bit more of spokesperson, not just for women’s rights in the industry, which is very important to her, but also political awareness. I think they’ve got very good heads on their shoulders collectively, in terms of their awareness of who they are and what they are about now, compared to the on first record.
Read Jamie Oborne’s golden rules for running Dirty Hit here, and revisit his Big Interview here.