Music: Album Review

10 February 2014

Bombay Bicycle Club 
So Long See You Tomorrow

When English indie-rock band Bombay Bicycle Club promised their fans a totally new sound with fourth album So Long See You Tomorrow they weren't lying. Currently riding high at number one in the UK album chart it is the first record from the band actually defining them. Their discography holds three very different albums, their debut I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose was full of generic drums and guitar but held poetic blasts of genius. Flaws took the band a little deeper into their natural sound, doing away with the heavy beat they created melancholic genius and with third album A Different Kind Of Fix this only grew.

So Long See You Tomorrow (SLSYT) shows us Bombay's new identity - the identity that was always there, no doubt - but now with their record label giving them more freedom and the time to create (it's been almost three years since their last record) the band are giving us the real them - we think. Taking time to create the LP was partly due to lead vocalist Jack Steadman travelling around India, Turkey and the Netherlands - a lot of the songs were written there and you can certainly hear the cultural influences especially in Feel, one of the later songs on the album. Much like taking a gap year as a student the band now seems to have 'found themselves' and if this is the real Bombay it should stay…forever.

Releasing singles It's Alright Now, Carry Me and Luna late last year and early this year meant the band were already showcasing this totally different sound to their avid fans - but the album still holds many surprises. Opening with Overdone barely a word is spoken for the first minute, concentrating more on their high pitch tune and higher-than-soprano harmonies it then leads into a guitar and drum fuelled abrupt ending - the best way to introduce you to SLSYT. Already known songs It's Alright Now and Carry Me give the album so old familiarity then it's onto the new - Home By Now continues the theme of high octave singing with an undertone of R&B and the bands old school indie thrown in for good measure.

Feel is the odd-one-out of the whole album, as previously mentioned this is where Steadman's earlier Indian travels come into play - more of a Bollywood groove than a song at the beginning of the track you can't help but succumb to it. With random bursts of trumpets and an easy-to-dance-to tune it's a song that has summer festival written all over it - lucky Latitude. The album ends softly with title track So Long See You Tomorrow, it ties it up their fourth record perfectly leaving a lasting sound you'll be humming for weeks. As their first number one album and with very little input from their record label the band should see it as a huge triumph that people have taken so quickly to their risky new sound - albeit their best.

So Long See You Tomorrow is out now and available on iTunes.

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