So Long, See You Tomorrow by Bombay Bicycle Club

So Long, See You Tomorrow by Bombay Bicycle Club

 

When does a band transcend cheap genre-hopping to become the sort of act that experiments in order to truly discover? Bombay Bicycle Club may not be there yet, but boy, are they giving it a try.

 

In addition to their meat-and-potatoes debut I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, the London-based indie quartet have put out the obligatory “quiet” record as well as a dance-y, sort-of-adventurous one. While those were turned around rather quickly (within a span of three years), the unexpected success of 2011’s A Different Kind Of Fix forced them to reevaluate their music. If they were going to make synth-laced indie pop going forward, they would have to establish a formula that would work for them on a consistent basis.

 

In addition to his regular touring commitments, lead vocalist Jack Steadman spent the majority of the past three years travelling through Turkey, India, and Japan. And so what follows is naturally a world music-influenced record full of folksy samples from Bollywood and old-school musicals, although So Long, See You Tomorrow is more than an artsy palate of exotic thrills.

 

TRACKLIST:
#1. Overdone 3:39
#2. It’s Alright Now 4:10
#3. Carry Me 4:26
#4. Home By Now 4:35
#5. Whenever Wherever 5:31
#6. Luna 3:11
#7. Eyes Off You 3:57
#8. Feel 5:00
#9. Come To 4:25
#10. So Long, See You Tomorrow 6:03

 

PERSONNEL:
Jack Steadman: Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Jamie MacColl: Guitar
Suren de Saram: Drums, Percussion
Ed Nash: Bass

 

PRODUCER:
Jack Steadman
Mark Rankin

 

DATE OF RELEASE:
3rd February, 2014

 

SINGLES:
Carry Me
Luna
It’s Alright Now

 

Overdone, an aptly-titled overproduced number, chimes in with a repetitive string sample, steady bass, and stuffy drumlines. Despite these weaknesses, a handful of chunky guitar parts and some neat synth programming result in a track that is fun to listen to. There are no such issues with It’s Alright Now, an out-and-out insanely addictive cut fueled by a relentless marching band beat and reassuring lyrics.

 

Certain aspects are immediately familiar to the latent BBC fan. The title track for instance, is exactly the sort of Sigur Ros influenced slow burner that defined the acoustic Flaws. Acerbic lead single Carry Me – although done in by the unnecessary breakdowns and meandering escapades – definitely has potential to chart on something like mtvU. Maybe Calvin Harris could drop a helpful remix?

 

On the other hand, the role of the electric guitar seems to have receded dramatically, barring the odd solo or introductory riff. For the most part, MacColl seems to be content to let his instrument do little more than accentuate a hook here, or complete a missing melodic line there. Loops and samples do the bulk of the heavy lifting, along with de Saram’s busy drumming and Nash’s extremely catchy bass lines.

 

Even Steadman’s marshmallow-soft intonation is at constant risk of being overwhelmed; not surprisingly the best songs feature Lucy Rose or Rae Morris assisting with the vocals. Ms. Morris coaxes you Lorde-like on the stratospheric Luna, elevating it from a decent pop single to something that will surely win over hordes of new fans.

 

Ms. Rose (who is also in the midst of launching her solo career) is less characteristic in her performances: often she ends up sounding just like a more feminine version of Steadman, as on the Wiz Khalifa-esque Home By Now. But she remains equally committed to pulling her weight for the sweet harmonies that are the lifeblood of a typical BBC chorus.

 

Eyes Off You breaks away from the whirlwind world tour as the band settle themselves in for what would appear to be a comfortable home stretch. But the brassy Feel and the open-to-interpretation Come To keep the listener guessing, although they manage far less resonance than the top six.

 

Keep an open mind and a sense of adventure, and See You Tomorrow is bound to be a pleasant experience.

 

 

 

 

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