Wolf Alice shared a new song called “No Hard Feelings” in advance of their upcoming album Blue Weekend. They also moved the album’s release date up by a week, so it’s now coming out on June 4 via Dirty Hit/RCA.
“Life can be short, but life can be sweet/No hard feelings, honey/The next time we meet,” frontwoman Ellie Roswell sings. Like the lyrics, the song itself is short, but sweet. It’s a simple song featuring a repeated guitar line and three verses tied together by the refrain of “No hard feelings, honey…” Roswell’s lyrics tell of a relationship that didn’t work out for mutually agreed-upon reasons. Her words fall out into the negative space left empty by the lack of bass or drums, only accompanied by the guitar and a brief section of synth chords.
An accompanying video shows an aestheticized depiction of Roswell saying goodbye to an ex-boyfriend at a bus stop at night. Red light shines through the smoke spilling out from behind the bus stop until it’s met by the yellow light of a nearby streetlight. Dreamy video editing captures Roswell’s face as she waits, until the bus pulls up and she hugs the ex one last time and leaves.
Blue Weekend’s cover photo was also taken at the bus stop during the video’s shoot. Like the music videos for the previous two singles, “The Last Man on Earth” and “Smile,” it was directed by Jordan Hemingway.
Rowsell commented on the song in a press release, “I started out trying to make a really cheesy almost Motown-y, Ronettes kind of song about the end of a relationship, and feeling ‘What’s the point of being miserable about it?’ But it was short, because originally it was played so fast. I tried to make it longer, but I didn’t have any more words—I had said everything I wanted to say perfectly, and didn’t want to ruin it with more. So instead we slowed it down, and I felt way more moved by it like that.”
In a statement to Apple Music, she continued, “It was an introduction to another song that was almost like a funny intro to a heavy rock song that we had. And when we were playing it, we were like, ‘I like the funny intro more than the rock song itself.’ And so then I knew I had to flesh it out a bit, but I maybe made it into a funny short intro thing because I was scared to make it into a real song perhaps. Because there is no ambiguity really in the lyrics so it was quite scary.”
She went on a tangent from there, “I think it’s just a confidence that comes with experience and the content that you have that is given to you by having fans, I suppose, that you’re like, ‘Okay. They like what we do. This is what I want to do, so hopefully they’ll like that as well.’ When you first start and concentrating so much on just getting things right and you building the foundation for your musicality, literally how to play my instrument. And then as you get better, you can focus on experimenting. It’s just progress in a way.”
Later in the statement, she clarified where the title for Blue Weekend came from, “Well, I think, firstly, we just liked the way it sounds. But secondly, I think, well, it came from, I had said it, I was like, ‘Oh, the next Blue Weekend, let’s go, blah, blah, blah.’ And Joe was like, ‘I really like that, Blue Weekend.’ He’s like ‘It sounds good for the album.’ And I had meant it like a Blue Weekend when the sky is clear and it’s sunny and it’s nice and you want to go outside, and things like that. But that’s why I like for the album. So I was like, ‘Well, there’s a lot of sad songs on this album, but there is ultimately a sense of hope or whatever. I don’t want it to be too miserable.’ So it encompassed all the feelings.”
Wolf Alice recorded the new album while staying at an Airbnb in Somerset, England during the COVID-19 lockdown. They wrote and recorded all the demos during their time there before sending them to producer Markus Dravs and officially recording them for the album. Wolf Alice hopes to tour behind the album in January 2022 in the UK and Ireland. Much sooner, they’re set to play the Worthy Farm livestream on May 22 alongside Coldplay, Damon Albarn, HAIM, Idles, Jorja Smith, Kano and Michael Kiwanuka.
They started out as a duo consisting of Rowsell on guitar and lead vocals and Joff Oddie on guitar and backing vocals, but they were joined in 2012 by Theo Ellis on bass and Joel Amey on drums. Together, they released three EPs called Wolf Alice (2012), Blush (2013) and Creature Comforts (2014), before venturing into full-length albums for My Love Is Cool (2015) and Visions of a Life (2017).