If you’re in the market for an insistent crotch-bassline come January 22nd, this could be just the fellow for you. Because that is what the initial notes say for this breezy offering and they do not lie.
Michael Lovett – who makes up the band along with Charlotte Hatherley, ex of Ash, and sometime drum-worrier with Hot Chip, Sarah Jones – may be an alumnus of Your Twenties but on this 2nd offering in his current incarnation ploughs a somewhat glistening and on point furrow. What’s that furrow, you ask? That would be the one marked heavily influenced by American R&B whilst maintaining an arched-eyebrow. Readers of an older disposition might reach for Scritti Politti as an outfit that attempted a similar feat. Whether he turns out to be as mad as Green Gartside is anyone’s guess. One can but hope.
The fact the record seems notionally to be the soundtrack around, “The idea of a far-future Earth, where the sun has expanded to the size of a red giant and our extinction is imminent“, is surely encouraging in that respect.
As it is it’s an album that reveals more with each listen. Highly radio-friendly pop but also has it. It. That hard to describe thing that says, ‘See me…there’s more to me than you think there is’.
Could be the sometimes crunching beats, the quite beautiful backing vocals or the introspective chords looming in from time to time through the pop fizz. Or the Prince-type loneliness of ‘Dark Horizon‘. Glacial but warm in that hardest to accomplish way.
“I feel the time is running out for us…” is the repeated refrain and achieves perhaps exactly what is desired. The wriggle of the tune against the rather plaintive lyric. Fits in the concept over the whole piece rather neatly too. Encompassing as it does, “Half of the world is covered by a city [Cairo-Athens] that clings to the past and embraces its destruction, whilst the other half is trying to rebuild, create and make something new. Yet, it’s good on both sides because it’s warm everywhere and people just party most of the time,” in the face of the fiery solar inferno noted earlier.
Hurrah for concept albums; not enough of ’em about. As it is, this rather joyous soundtrack to Armageddon makes our collective demise look and sound pretty inviting. You’ll have a good dance anyway.
Catch them on tour around the country in February. If we’re not dead by then. Bon voyage.