Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Cinematic Masterpiece Of Blue Weekend

Wolf Alice deliver their third studio album, ‘Blue Weekend’, accompanied by their spectacular, edgy music videos – and they couldn’t be more remarkable. The album's success speaks for itself; ‘Blue Weekend’ is their first number one album record.

The indie rock band worked with the talented Jordan Hemmingway to create 11 cultivated music videos alongside the album. Hemmingway has previously collaborated with renowned designers such as Gucci and Saint Laurent and he injects his own unique style into the Wolf Alice music videos in a visually compelling manner. 

The videos exist as fragments of a series rather than stand-alone works and they operate together to allow the spectator to feel connected to the pieces. Wolf Alice planned for each video to be conceptually linked and they arranged two exclusive screening parties, each with a unique acoustic performance. You can watch the trailer here: Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend ( film trailer)

'The Beach,' is our introduction to the new Wolf Alice era before concluding with 'The Beach II' whichbrings the artistic series to a close. ‘WOLF ALICE',‘CHAPTER I' and 'THE BEACH' are written in clear, strong blue typography in the music video (Wolf Alice - The Beach) . Every video is nearly identical in this aspect, with the title and chapter altering to fit the track.

Each video fits perfectly with each song, conveying the emotions and connecting with the lyrics. Ellie Rowsell, the lead vocalist, stars in every video either alone or alongside the rest of the band - their presence allowing the audience to connect with the videos and music further. Hemmingway creates an immersive experience by using a range of camera angles to engage the audience in each production.

Rowsell sings the profound and intimate lyrics in the video for ‘The Beach’ which is tinted blue to convey the sombre sentiments. “Lost in my mind / Was a storm on the beach”. The song's theme is metaphorically conveyed through a scene of Rowsell drowning and battling as water begins to fill up her flat.

All the music videos are thematically related while still expressing the message of each single – each video has a distinct aesthetic that we can identify immediately. In the video for ‘The Beach', there’s a strong blue hue, whilst‘Delicious Things' has a robust red tint;  both of which help to express the narrative further. The use of vivid colours is prevalent throughout the videos and it is what distinguishes them as a cohesive series. 

Not only do all the videos correlate visually but they flow together contextually. For instance, in the final scene of ‘Delicious Things,’ the band could be seen entering a taxicab together. Then, in the next video in the series, ‘Lipstick on the Glass,' the band exits the same taxi and proceeds into the video. They're designed to be viewed sequentially in order to grasp the creative direction.

Furthermore, the band puts on a euphoric rock show for ‘Smile’, creating an enthralling artistic vision that is the perfect parallel to the music. Using various camera angles, we experience the scene more intimately allowing us to forget that we are not physically there.  

In ‘Safe from Heartbreak (if you never fall in love),' we observe Rowsell performing the mournful lyrics in a club restroom, cut like a scene from a movie to aid the wider narrative. With a more mellow rendition, the story is delivered wonderfully as the serene atmosphere allows the Abba-esque harmonies to take centre stage. 

It's only natural that, following the success of ‘Blue Weekend,’ people had high hopes for the music videos - and it's safe to say that they did not disappoint. Even the band's own performances in ‘Smile’ and ‘Play the Greatest Hits’ are fantastic and vibrant, with an electric atmosphere. They claimed they wanted to bring 'Blue Weekend' to life, and that's exactly what they did. 

The last videos are less embellished and more focused on conveying a story and bringing the songs to life. They allow us to admire the tracks' magnificent harmonies whilst also bringing the stories behind them to life for us. 

'The Last Man on Earth' is striking because, unlike the others, it is shot in black and white. Rowsell stars alone in the video, singing the profoundly intimate lyrics. “Who are you to ask for anything else?/ The thing you should be asking is for help. The song was the first single off the album to be released, officially premiering on February 24th2021. Taking it as an opportunity to give their audience a taste of the experiences covered in ‘Blue Weekend’, Wolf Alice share their most personal anecdotes.

The album and series come to a close with ‘The Beach II,' which conveys feelings of contemplation. We see the band on a bus together and while the song continues to play, we get the impression that this is their last goodbye. The band exits the bus, and the image shifts to a shot of a cliff, followed by a close-up of a make-up lined hazel eye. This chapter feels like a teaser for what's to come after we've finished with Wolf Alice's adventure, drawing it to a conclusion. 

The album and videos were sensational and have cemented their place in British music history. ‘Blue Weekend’ consists of beautifully emotive songs that share Wolf Alice’s experiences marvellously. They've demonstrated that they're exceptional by delivering not only a masterpiece album but also a genius series of artistic music videos.  

Above all, every video we’re treated to is a visually impressive and artistic performance, whether it be from Wolf Alice themselves, or a creative metaphor. Each video is crafted exceptionally to create a brilliantly produced story that not only truly represents each track but also comes together elegantly. 

The videos are essentially an inner monologue, allowing viewers to glimpse deep inside the band's mind, sentiments, and relationships throughout their twenties – thanks to Hemmingway's incredible vision. 

Lilly Hilton 


IMAGE: Jordan Hemmingway

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