Smile

Album: Blue Weekend (2021)
Charted: 88
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Songfacts®:

  • I ain't afraid though my steps appear tentative
    I scope it out then I throw myself into it
    I ain't ashamed in the fact that I'm sensitive
    I believe that it is the perfect adjective


    According to Rhian Daly of the NME, Wolf Alice frontwoman Ellie Rowsell comes across as shy in interviews, resulting in her being labeled boring and void of personality. However, the singer also wears her feelings on her sleeve, and in such instances she gets perceived as emotional. Here, Rowsell criticizes the way female artists are supposed to be meek, but fun and likable without being assertive.

    Don't call me mad, there's a difference; I'm angry
    And your choice to call me cute has offended me
  • Wolf Alice wrote the hypnotic and heavy track themselves and recorded it for their third album, Blue Weekend. They laid down the record at a converted church with producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Kings Of Leon).
  • The band released "Smile" as the second single from Blue Weekend on April 20, 2021, over a year after COVID-19 put a stop to gigs. "This is one of the songs we wrote thinking that we would play it live," Rowsell said. "I miss that feeling of singing on stage. It's like screaming into a pillow or something - you can get away with being more nasty. There's a whole other part of me missing."
  • Wolf Alice premiered the rambling song on April 20, 2021 during Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show. Ellie Rowsell told the DJ it concerns her desire to fight back against those who try to define her. "It's about people that make assumptions about you," the singer said.
  • Jordan Hemingway directed the video, which sees Wolf Alice perform in a pub. Hemingway also filmed the clip for the band's previous single, "The Last Man On Earth."
  • Making this song was a big turning point in the studio for Wolf Alice as it shows the band in a different light. "I think this sounds like a mature Wolf Alice - people should listen to this if they want to hear a dreamy, cinematic, playful yet dark version of us," Ellie Rowsell told Apple Music. "We wanted it to have a Hollywood feeling to it, which was helped along by Owen Pallett's strings. The end passage is one of our favorite parts of the album."

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