Single Review: Wolf Alice – No Hard Feelings (Dirty Hit)
Following up their intimate-come-cacophonous first single from the album The Last Man On Earth with the punchy fuck you Smile would’ve left very few Wolf Alice fans surprised. This ability to duck in and out of so many genres so well is what makes the band so engaging, so it should be no surprise to anybody that their latest single No Hard Feelings, is once again a sharp left turn.
Opening up with a beautifully simple and catchy riff that helps the song float along, No Hard Feelings will be a cruicial moment for radio airplay, yet not in a selling out way. With a vocal performance better than anything Rowsell has ever done before, offering a vulnerable subtlety, that is best used in any Rowsell performance here. The melody throughout sounds like a school girl singing rhymes on the playground, covered in an innocence that gets to the listener from the opening line.
As good as the stripped back instrumentals and vocals are there’s one clear element that stands out in the song, the lyrics. Quite easily the most personal look into relationships (or in this case, the failings of one) the band has ever done. All it takes is the opening lines of “No hard feelings honey, there’ll be no bad blood, losing your love has been hard enough” and you know that Wolf Alice are not just in a different ball park, they’re playing a new sport. Despite being so unquestionably personal, with the specificity of lines like “crying in the bathtub to Love is a Losing Game” jumping out at the listener, Rowsell still manages to give every single tiny detail a universal feel, grabbing the listener by the shirt and dragging them through the hurt that she has felt. However, much like their previous single Don’t Delete the Kisses, this song doesn’t just drag you down and leave you there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, a feeling that a partner has been lost forever but a friend doesn’t have to be.
Ultimately any Wolf Alice fan could write for hours on each line of the song and what the specifics behind it all is but what it all boils down to is this is a Wolf Alice that no one has seen before and I don’t know if we will again. Stunning.
No Hard Feelings will be released tomorrowvia Dirty Hit Records