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Bodega – Our Brand Could Be Yr Life (Chrysalis)

2024 has already been an astonishing year for new albums, and now Bodega are joining the party with their fifth studio album. If the idea of putting my favourite records of the year in order of preference was already going to be a thankless task, Bodega have just made that undertaking even harder. Quite simply, Our Brand Could Be Yr Life is a terrific piece of work.

It tempts you in with the twitchy ‘Dedicated To The Dedicated‘, effectively The Human League’s Dare meets Wire, and it’s as good as that sounds, before ‘G.N.D. Deity‘ pays musical homage to Tom Tom Club, Nikki Belfiglio sounding somewhat like Lykke Li here.

There’s definitely a post punk eighties undercurrent oozing from some of these songs, though there are many feathers to the Bodega bow, and hence ‘Bodega Bait‘ is more like early Weezer, whereas the joyful ‘Tarkovski‘, rather wonderfully, recalls The Long Ryders, Jonathan Richman, and The Gun Club.

Major Amberson‘ is laid-back, jangly stoner pop containing some fascinating lyrics: “Was the first time that he noticed the stone pillar marking the entrance was removed. His name was removed too. Was the first time that he noticed” – I’m not entirely sure what this is alluding to, but you can draw your own conclusions, I guess, and I LOVE that.

The songs on Our Brand Could Be Yr Life were first written eight years ago, so, as joint lead Ben Hozie says: “We thought of it like a director remaking one of their own films, like when Hitchcock re-made The Man Who Knew Too Much, or when Yasujirō Ozu remade The Story Of Floating.”

One thing’s for sure, the record is clearly a labour of love, with playful acknowledgement of the British shoegaze scene of the 1990s on ‘Stain Gaze‘, which put me very much in mind of Adorable, at least musically. Then later on, we get the brilliant triple whammy of ‘Cultural Consumer’ parts I, II and III. The latter part is Buzzcocks catchy, which is some feat to achieve!

Webster Hall‘ has some striking, shimmering guitar work worthy of Throwing Muses and ‘ATM‘ is almost ‘punk rap’. Predictable it is not, and that is just one of the many great things about Bodega – you just can’t second guess them.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.