British Sea Power have returned with a new album after a four-year gap. It seems like only yesterday that they were being talked about as indie music’s bright new things. The fact is they have been around for 15 years or so now. Their new album Let The Dancers Inherit The Party sees them come almost full circle. Those who remember their previous work will be pleased to know this new album is along the same roots yet brings a maturity as well as indie sophistication. But it’s not like they haven’t been busy, they have released soundtracks as well as playing in some weird and wonderful locations.
The lead single ‘Bad Bohemian’ is a concentration of all their previous work settled into 4 minutes. It’s refreshing and alleviates any fears that this album would mark a change in the band's songwriting or style. The jangly guitars and strong lyrics remind us of the band's ability to create simple yet powerful indie rock. As new lead singles go they couldn’t have chosen a better track. It is a statement of intent.
The following album track ‘International Space Station’ shows the bands ability to broaden the subject matter and speak about the ageless wonder of the world around us. But still managing to keep the catchy indie pop sound and lyrics which almost demand to be shouted as we sing along, it’s another corker about a subject we may forget in this age of click bait and Snap Chat geo-filters. Their second single ‘Electrical Kittens’ has a wonderful moody almost sombre overtone that’s a slight change to the norm. This has a huge sweeping sound full of melancholic catchy lyrics that creates a moody singalong. This can easily be seen as almost arena indie (if that even exists) as the band lament for a seemingly lost musical experience.
We all hold hands as the radio plays.
Coming out of the wonderful city of Brighton, although some members are originally from Kendal, the band have described this album as their most direct yet. The intention was to have a clear mood and feel to the entire body of work. This doesn’t necessarily create a concept album, but more of an awareness of the current events that we are all struggling with. As Martin Noble, the band's guitarist has said:
“There wasn’t a plan to create an album with any particular subject matter but we’ve kind of ended up with a case of ’think global, act local’ – an album where individuals are dealing with their domestic and personal lives against a background of uncontrollable international lunacy.”
This album is yet another step in the band's ever growing catalogue of albums. On the back of Machineries Of Joy and the breakthrough, Decline Of British Sea Power this may be their best yet, and at times like this, we need music that gives us hope, or at least that which alerts us to the fact we aren’t alone in our despair.