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Indie rock is dead. Okay, not really, but it is becoming easier to dance to, if that’s your kind of thing, and this latest offering from the lads at Bombay Bicycle Club is exactly that kind of thing. So Long, See You Tomorrow is the band’s fourth studio release, which sees yet another fresh dimension added to the band’s ever-mutating sound.
First single Carry Me sets the experimental tone for the album with bursts of synth work pushing a heavy electronic feel. One can’t help but think that this wasn’t the best choice to introduce the album, as it is liable to alienate old fans, whilst reducing Steadman’s lyrical range to a chorus of repetitive carry me’s. There’s even a mild drop in this track (yes, that kind).
The rest of the album thankfully eschews the trappings of the obligatory commercial-friendly track. Second single Luna is an upbeat number with vocal contributions from Rae Morris. Her voice glimmers amongst the tropical beats before bassist Ed Nash rips in to wrap it up nicely. It’s Alright would not be out of place in a summer Coke ad, with its melodic drums layered among Steadman’s soothing vocals.
Watch: Bombay Bicycle Club – Luna
The real winners of the album, Overdone and Home by Now, both seem a world away from the BBC of old. Overdone dazzles with a euphoric string buildup, which blends effortlessly into Jamie MacColl’s uber-slick guitar work, Nash’s bass, and Suren de Saram’s rapid-fire drums. Another female vocal accompanies Steadman, giving it an extra allure.
On the other side of the fence is Home by Now, which straddles the borderline separating conventional indie rock and the soulful sounds of R&B, with more sultry guest vocals and intricate piano sampling. All of this works in unison to capture the listener’s ears.
The band get balls-out experimental on Feel, which opens with a crazy Bollywood-style intro before peeling off into a predominantly Mediterranean soundbed. Come To brings the psychedelic sound right back with a touch of ’80s wedding singer suave — a little tacky, yet fun.
Watch: Bombay Bicycle Club – Carry Me
The eponymous final track is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. The ultra downtempo percussion accompanying Steadman’s voice is a precursor to the synth and drum explosion that lies ahead. It’s a beautifully crafted track that captures the motivation behind the album and could well hint at the band’s intentions for the future.
So Long, See You Tomorrow is a solid release from Bombay Bicycle Club, with a miss or two that come as a result of haphazard experimentation. And while the ‘rock’ in their traditional indie-rock may be on the wane, hey, at least you’ll dance.