The Last Man On Earth

Album: Blue Weekend (2021)

Songfacts®:

  • During this contemplative and atmospheric track, Ellie Rowsell contemplates humanity's self-importance.

    You were the first person here
    And the last man on the Earth
    But does a light shine on you?


    The singer/guitarist explained to Apple Music that she was grappling with the idea of arrogance: "On one hand, it's about my own inner turmoil with my own ego, and on a broader term, the ego of everyone," she said. "They were the things that were rolling around in my head at the time."
  • The song originated with a lyric inspired by a line in Kurt Vonnegut's 1963 satirical postmodern novel, Cat's Cradle.

    Who were you to ask for anything more?
    Do you wait for your dancing lessons to be sent from God?


    Roswell explained: "I had written the line 'Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God' in my notes. But then I thought: 'Uh, your peculiar travel suggestion isn't a dancing lesson from God, it's just a travel suggestion! Why does everything need to mean something more.'"
  • Released as the lead single from Wolf Alice's Blue Weekend album, "The Last Man On Earth" starts off in a dreamy piano-led mood before morphing into a string-led rock waltz. "It took me quite a short amount of time to complete it," Rowsell said about the writing process with her bandmates and producer Markus Dravs. "We messed around with a few versions, but it didn't change much. It was one of those songs that you didn't want to ruin with too much thought."
  • Canadian musician Owen Pallett, who has also worked with Arcade Fire, Pet Shop Boys, and Snow Patrol, plays the violin and viola as part of the string section. Pallett has recorded his own material under the name Final Fantasy.
  • Wolf Alice gave the song its live debut during the March 5, 2021 episode of Later… with Jools Holland.
  • The album title came from a cab journey in Belgium where Wolf Alice were recording Blue Weekend. It was a sunny, blue-sky day and as they drove Rowsell suggested to drummer Joel Amey that they go to a nearby forest "on the next blue weekend."

    "Blue is a nice color, but it also means sad," Rowsell said to NME. "And I often think the weekend is so fun, but lots of drama takes place then so sometimes it's the catalyst for your downfall."

Comments: 3

  • Fishski from UkThis song is a lot of beautiful things but it isn't a waltz.
  • Trevor Tylor from Uk This is a beautiful song and video. Best I’ve listened to in a long time
  • Nathan from Westcliff On Sea, UkI heard this on Radio 1 and was just blown away! Such simple chords and yet an epic build up. I then saw the performance on Later and again just thought WOW - cannot wait until they tour and play it. When interviewed they jokingly said they wanted it to rain fire when they performed it live.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tony Banks of Genesis

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Steely Dan

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike + The Mechanics)

Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike + The Mechanics)Songwriter Interviews

Mike Rutherford talks about the "Silent Running" storyline and "Land Of Confusion" in the age of Trump.

Motley Crue

Motley CrueFact or Fiction

Was Dr. Feelgood a dentist? Did the "Crüecifixion" really happen?

Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds

Jim McCarty of The YardbirdsSongwriter Interviews

The Yardbirds drummer explains how they created their sound and talks about working with their famous guitarists.

Spooner Oldham

Spooner OldhamSongwriter Interviews

His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."