Label: Because Music
Released: 18th February 2022
In later years, Metronomy have felt like they were making a shift back to their origins. Both ‘Summer’ 08′ and ‘Metronomy Forever’ were made without his usual compadres. Just Joseph Mount noodling about by himself, trying to regain his youth. ‘Summer’ 08′ was even an explicit call back to the recording of Metronomy’s breakthrough album ‘Nights Out’.
But we can’t all cling to the past forever. Their fifth album, ‘Small World’, sees Joe accepting the passing of time. “It was fun, what I did / Got a job, had some kids / See you in the abyss,” he sings on opener ‘Life And Death’. But this isn’t a record about giving up. It’s an incredibly earnest record: heart over head.
“Well, you caught me right on time / So, for now, let’s enjoy the sunshine,” goes the chorus of the glittering ‘Right On Time’. Meanwhile, in another life, ‘Things Will Be Fine’ would’ve been an arch “we’re all fucked” banger, but here is a genuine reassurance that things aren’t all bad that skews a little bit twee.
‘Small World’ is from a whole other part of Joe’s brain to what many will be used to. Seaside nostalgia, flashing chest lights, and whatever was going on with ‘Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe)’ are long gone. There’s still some of Joe’s usual tongue-in-cheek lyricism, but it’s all packaged in a much more sombre parcel.
At the end of it all, though, Metronomy has always been Joe’s space to mark out different periods of his life. ‘Small World’ is a neat encapsulation of what it feels like to try and hold on to any form of joy in difficult times.