Label: Human Season
Released: 20th January 2023
After the brutal sledgehammer of naked, raw grief that poured out of every second of their debut ‘When I Have Fears’, it’s perhaps no surprise that it took The Murder Capital a little time to follow it up. Any worries about the band struggling to find a way of matching their previous heights can be disregarded however, as the extra time afforded to ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ makes for an album that stretches and evolves the Irish band into something gloriously new.
If their comeback single ‘Only Good Things’ hinted at a band that were no longer consumed in darkness and were moving into brighter new musical areas, then here is the final proof of that whole new bold ambition. After a woozy, unsettling intro, ‘Crying’ shifts the dial instantly before the latter parts of the soaring ‘Return My Head’ takes flight for the skies in an early claim for album highlight. Slathered in the explosive eruptions of the debut but now dancing in hopeful new shades of technicolour, it’s both a world apart from ‘When I Have Fears’ and yet still capable of punching with the same emotional weight. Musically, it’s full of ambition from all sides – sometimes beautifully off-kilter in ways that bring later-era Radiohead to mind, often just in the way that James McGovern stretches and pushes his voice.
If the debut was about the love that endures between friends in the hardest, blackest times imaginable, ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ bursts to life in the grey areas that follow, revealing a deeply impressive record full of shades and flourishes that open themselves out more on each listen. Not just recovered, but even stronger, then.