Two and a half years on from third outing, ‘A Different Kind Of Fix‘, Bombay Bicycle Club presented a record which built on the successes of its addictive predecessor and dazzled from the off. The wealth of riffs across its forty-five minute running time is quite remarkable, like an encyclopedia of popular music grew legs and formed a band. Evoking memories of My Bloody Valentine, The Sundays, James, The Beach Boys and plenty more, the whole thing whizzes past like a raucous carnival. Its incessant energy is wonderfully endearing without seeming unduly affected.
The robot-warfare-in-a-tumbledryer production deployed on ‘Feel‘ delivers a squelchy, whirling tornado of looped vocals and huge crescendos, while the delicate, lulling confessional ‘Eyes Off You‘ occupies a sparse soundscape not dissimilar to James Blake at his least annoying. This track, in particular, demonstrates how far this band have come from the chirpy but utterly insubstantial ‘A Different Kind Of Fix‘. The space around the song is all the more powerful for being in stark contrast to the whirlwind around it.
The sweeping electronica is present once again, with synth swirls and layered harmonies all over the place. ‘It’s Alright Now‘ skitters around with Jack Steadman’s tight-trousered yelp cooing away throughout, while long-time collaborator Lucy Rose lends vocals to several tracks. However, it is Blackpool singer-songwriter Rae Morris who guests on the rather magical ‘Luna‘, a track which ensures the second half of the album matches the impressive pace of the first. The plastic string sounds which jut in around the chorus cannot detract from the fabulously heady Middle Eastern melody that underpins the track.
BBC’s ambition was there for all to hear on their last record, but it is with ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow‘ that they have fully realised it. What could so nearly have been overbearing or desperate to be loved is in actual fact sincerely captivating and euphorically playful. It’s easy to forget albums from the turn of the year when compiling lists at its close, but songs these good live on long in the memory.