Album Review: Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow

By on Monday, 3rd February 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

Bombay Bicycle Club So Long coverBombay Bicycle Club in 2014 have an air of the young man who has just returned from travelling after leaving school – but not in a pretentious ‘Gap Yah’ sense – but how they now seem to now be newly graduated gentlemen of the earth. A Bombay Bicycle Club with an immense sense of worldliness, if you will. Their new record ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ is their most accomplished, all-encompassing effort so far, with flecks of international inspiration twisted and turned through a dance/synth infused mesh. The first we got to hear of this magnificent record was single ‘Carry Me’. Offering flecks of ‘Kid A’-ish experimentalism, wrapped around a difficult to carry beat. It’s undeniably Bombay at their best.

The daintily gorgeous Lucy Rose accompanies Jack Steadman on vocal duties throughout. It’s not a conventional combo, in any sense of the world, but more a marmite and cheese situation. Two ingredients that have no right to go together but somehow complement each other majestically, intertwining to create the texture that ensures Bombay Bicycle Club are set to rise above the rest. In ‘Luna’, you’re given a perfect example of this delectable duo’s talents. Steadman in his trademark croon, he winces, pushing out the chorus, while Rose’s fast-maturing tones yell, “I’m ready for you to find out”.

Around 5 years ago, with the release of ‘Always Like This’ and ‘Magnet’, it was blatantly obvious this band were of an extremely special disposition. They were delicate, quiet lads (on the surface, anyway) who could flit from the slightest of indie ballads, to a free for all of heavy influence. Their ambition was obvious as their second record was released, infusing elements from across the board. However, little did I expect Steadman to go Bhangra on us. Yes, Bhangra he has gone and with fantastic results.

The opener of ‘So Long See You Tomorrow’, ‘Overdone’ is a euphoric melt of some Bhangra samples swirled in a melting pot of dance and funk. With all these influences, surely the worry for the band was that the record was going to sound like the crash of an experiment gone wrong in a laboratory, with the catastrophe of sound that ensues, fighting for aural supremacy. Fear not though, as the quartet have evolved into a multi-faceted beast. A beast that is showcased majestically in ‘So Long…’

Until this album, Bombay seemed like a band still struggling to prove what they are, meandering between different markets, dipping into folk, electronica, math rock and indie. Their fourth record is a continuation of these endeavours for change and expansion, but they no longer sound like a band trying to affix to a specific sound. No, they’re now more a band who are completely comfortable in the niche they occupy.

9/10

Bombay Bicycle Club’s fourth album, ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’, is out today on Island Records. They head out on tour in March; all the details are here. If you fancy it, the band are hosting a q&a session on their Facebook at 4:30 PM this afternoon; join up here.

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[…] Long, See You Tomorrow’ track ‘Feel’. (Read the glowing album review by John here. Both the song and video bear the obvious influence of visiting and being in India on Jack […]

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