Wolf Alice Smooths Out Rough Edges with ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’ | Song Review

Upon the conclusion of their U.S. tour, going into their small venue U.K. tour, Wolf Alice is getting intimate in more than just their concert gigs. The four-piece recently released the amorous music video for their most unabashed love song, “Don’t Delete the Kisses.”

Throughout the video, we follow a love story in transit… literally. We see the young couple initiate their relationship amidst their group of friends, and follow as they float through the stages of utter infatuation, bickering discord and back to affectionate contentedness, all while they make their daily commutes on buses and trains.

The setting for this love story is not unexpected considering lead singer Ellie Rowsell intended this song to be a “head out the window on a long drive” sort of tune. The cityscape visibly passing by the windows follows the gently pulsing synth-line that hums beneath the breezy main track.

“Don’t Delete the Kisses” is a synth-heavy soliloquy that features Rowsell mainly speak-singing her neurotic thoughts about whether to pursue a love interest (When I see you, the whole world reduces to just that room / And then I remember, and I’m shy, that gossip’s eye will look too soon), or continue with her contented single status (And you won’t wait, and maybe I won’t mind / I work better on my own).

As perhaps the most pessimistic love cynic who greatly identifies with the lyric ‘What if it’s not meant for me?’, I had a particular appreciation for the first half of the track. In today’s social media-driven world where most people meet through dating apps and interest-sparking conversation is a dying art, it gave a voice to those who prefer single life rather than the drama of dating and relationships.

However, the song transitions in the second verse as Rowsell’s self-conscious contemplations turn into a pep-talk revelation before declaring ‘Me and you were meant to be,’ giving the audience the clichéd “happily ever after” ending everyone has come to expect.

It was a bit disappointing to someone who has come to admire Wolf Alice’s penchant for being unafraid to expose the grit and grime of life. However, the addition of the music video created a persuasive campaign for the saccharine song finale by displaying the salt, as well as the sugar, in romance.

The production and lyricism of this track could be considered the antithesis of “Yuk Foo,” Wolf Alice’s first single from upcoming sophomore album “Visions of a Life.” While “Yuk Foo” was brash and aggressive with growling distortion, “Don’t Delete the Kisses” is soothing and optimistic, especially as the song builds to the climactic, transformed chorus.

Such a stark contrast between the first two singles off the album leave a lot in question as far as the overall direction for “Visions of a Life.” Within hours, Wolf Alice will be premiering the album’s third single, “Beautifully Unconventional,” to give us a better idea… or confound us even more. Either way, if this second LP maintains the unapologetic expression demonstrated in “Yuk Foo” and “Don’t Delete the Kisses,” Wolf Alice’s second effort will be far too exhilarating to fall into the dreaded sophomore slump.

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