Released: 17th January 2020
Returning during some of this generation’s darkest times both socially and politically, Bombay Bicycle Club’s message couldn’t be clearer. The world might be going to shit (if it hasn’t got there already), but solace and hope can always be found somewhere. And with perfect timing, this, the fifth album from indie pop’s favourite indie popsters, is just the comfort blanket that’s required.
With various solo projects emerging to mixed success over the last few years, the fears were that 2014’s ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ marked the final moments for the band. But tomorrow has finally come, and the results are a lush, ever-surprising record that could just be their best yet. From the warmth of ‘Is It Real’, to the darker guitar riffs and rapid-fire monotone vocals of the title track, there is an urgency and insistence to the album that all-too-few band revivals manage. The results are intoxicating.
The perfect summation of Bombay’s own musical journey, the record manages the neat trick of settling happily with one foot in the ‘Flaws’ era without ever losing sight of their bigger guitar moments. And throughout, gorgeous moments reside everywhere. Whether on the poignant ‘Good Day’, or the more triumphant ‘I Can Hardly Speak’, it is not strictly true to say that it sounds like they have never been away. Instead, it is more that absence has made their sound grow stronger. ‘Eat, Sleep, Wake’ shimmers beautifully, while ‘People People’ basks in the glow of some meaty riffs.
With a more contemplative thread running through, there is a sense of a band growing up alongside their own music rather than trying to stay forever young. Wherever you find yourself, this is a record that indeed proves that after all, not quite everything has gone wrong.