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British Sea Power - Let The Dancers Inherit The Party

  • Published in Albums

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.

Let The Dancers Inherit The Party is available via Amazon and iTunes.


The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions

  • Published in Albums

Sticking with neon as on the cover of previous album Brill Bruisers The New Pornographers are now up to as many albums as they have members with the release of Whiteout Conditions. Whereas the 2014 release was dubbed a "celebration record" by the band Whiteout Conditions is being heralded as a "cohesive" one. What this seems to mean in practice is there's no stand out tracks.

Brill Bruisers has its title track & 'War On The East Coast', Together has 'Your Hands (Together)' (amongst others), Challengers has 'All The Things That Go To Make Heaven And Earth' and the back catalogue list goes on yet, for all that it's far from being at all bad, Whiteout Conditions tends to stay in the one gear throughout. Maybe a wise strategy when driving in that type of weather but a risky move on a record.

'High Ticket Attractions', the first single from the album, is delivered in the higher register of the best of the band's most memorable, near sing-a-long, earlier material and so comes closest to what you may have anticipated hearing when you first became aware of the new full-length's impending arrival.

Lyrically there's absolutely no drop off in form, with 'This Is The World Of Theater' being a sure thing when it comes to putting a smile on your face both for its words and their joyful delivery. Indeed the septet succeed in leaving you as pleased as usual by the time final song 'Avalanche Alley' is done, despite the overall lack of anything lapel-grabbing amongst the 11 songs.

Whiteout Conditions is therefore a solid release from a band still playing to their collective strengths, albeit more so than usual with a slight drop off in excitement being the small price paid for individual members not shining as brightly as on previous releases. Live there should be no problems, other than that currently they only have one UK date (London, May 9 - tickets available here) scheduled.  

Whiteout Conditions is available from amazon & iTunes.

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