The one-man-indie-band that goes by the name of ‘The O.O’, delivers a beautifully written, upbeat and well-produced record.
With this charismatic acoustic song, the indie singer-songwriter from the Isle of Wight takes you straight to the seaside on a summer’s day, toes in the sand and guitar in hand. The O.O also known as Ollie, channels his inner Luke Pritchard with his vocals and melody reminding me of The Kooks’ old material.
The song titled, Sometimes, follows the artists pursuit of a new co-worker that he felt an instant connection with. Despite her having a boyfriend, the two of them would share occasional moments and often catch each other’s eye, leaving the artist hopeful yet confused.
The 4-minute track explodes with colour as Ollie’s soothing raw vocals take centre stage commanding the listener to join him on the heartfelt musical journey. The authentic and unpolished style is inspired by the iconic British indie bands of the 2000s such as the Arctic Monkeys, the Fratellis and the Libertines. The young singer loved the truth in their early albums, he added: “They were just making music that they loved and having a great time without worrying about what anyone thought”.
Interestingly, it was his challenging early school years that led The O.O to fall in love with music, as he was often removed from lessons for ‘disruptive behaviour’; instead, his headteacher taught him how to play instruments, lighting the spark to his passion for music.
The talented solo artist wrote and recorded the song using his home studio equipment, he shared: “It’s very simple and basic really, but for me if I overcomplicate it, the songs end up getting messy, whereas when I keep it simple I end up getting the sounds I want for my music”.
The O.O has big plans for this year, hoping to release some more singles including creative music videos as well as a new album. In the next few years, he wants to be gigging as much as he can, he said: “I just have such a passion for music and want to keep creating and sharing with everyone!”
So if you haven’t already, give it a listen, comment your thoughts and please share any other underrated UK artists!
As the year is coming to a close, it’s a great time to recap on the best albums of 2023!
These are the albums I couldn’t turn off, the albums with few skips, the albums that I will remember in 5 years time. In all honesty, I found it quite difficult to pick a top ten as there were few albums that came to mind straight away. A lot of my favourite albums came from overseas, for example: SZA’s SOS, Boygenius’ The Record, Noah Kahan’s Stick Season and even Lil Yachty’s Let’s Start Here. Moreover, most of Britain’s big names (The Arctic Monkeys, Harry Styles, The 1975, Stormzy and Fred Again..) released their albums last year, making room for exciting new breakthrough artists to make a name for themselves this year. But of course, we have some old favourites returning.
10. Chase and Status – 2 RUFF, Vol 1
Unlike the other entries coming up on this list, this album is simply something I could not overlook in terms of the singles it produced. Baddadan, Liquor and Cigarettes, and Tough Talk – Chase and Status are unstoppable. The duo are veterans of the drum and bass scene and have been for quite some time, but this album proves that they are still at the top of their game! The D&B King’s collaborated with next generation producers to form an energetic and well-mixed album straight out of a 90s rave.
9. Barry Can’t swim – When Will We Land
Barry’s much-awaited debut album is quirky and colourful and really scratches an itch in my brain in a way that not many other albums this year have. The Scottish-born DJ blends a variety of dance music sub-genres with gospel and jazz samples to create an emotive, high-energy and well-produced project. The album flows seamlessly and works well collectively but the standout tracks for me are Sonder, How It Feels and Dance of the Crab. I truly cannot wait to hear these tracks be performed live in 2024.
8. Bakar – Halo
Somehow, Bakar is still one of the most underrated UK talents, apart from his viral hit Hell N Back. As an artists it is difficult to describe his genre as he blurs the lines between a few. Halo can be best described as indie-pop record with a collection of stripped back soulful tracks that focus in on Bakar’s remarkable vocals. The single Alive is still my favourite, setting the overall tone for the album, with its nostalgic and warm feel. Overall, it is a joyous and mature follow up to last year’s outstanding album The Mission.
7.Nia Archives – Sunrise Bang Your Head Against Tha Wall
Although it’s technically an EP, Nia impressively delivers the chaos of jungle music finished with smooth production. It is a great listen from start to end. The rising DJ manages to capture the atmosphere inside a rave with the album’s fusion of superb samples and jungle breaks. The album really is the sound of the summer with singles Biana and title track Sunrise Bang Ur Head Against Tha Wall that will forever remind me of 2023 summer.
6. Sampha – Lahai
Extremely well written, wonderfully creative, and overwhelmingly real. Sampha’s deeply personal new album marks his first release in over 6 years, making it highly anticipated. Lahai feels complex yet light as a feather as he combines airy vocals and beautiful melodies with serious subject matters.
5.RAYE – My 21st Century Blues
RAYE had a frustrating journey to releasing her debut album, battling with record label, Polydor, for almost a decade, but this project is worth the wait. RAYE took a new approach, away from the house tracks she was previously known for, blending soulful jazz, R&B and hip-hop. The singer-songwriter from South London takes listeners on an emotional and powerful journey with the album, and it seriously paid off! The now independent artist combines her thrilling storytelling with impeccable vocals to make an impressive, hard-hitting, and unapologetic first album.
4.The Rolling Stones – Hackney Diamonds
Hackney Diamonds is an album I did not expect to enjoy so much. The Rock legends return with original material for the first time in 18 years with a vibrant, engaging, and purposeful 12-track album. Frontman Mick Jagger sings with conviction and enthusiasm to create a modern take on classic rock. The standout songs: Angry, Mess It Up and Live By The Sword each have a strong chorus’ paired with strong guitar-led melodies.
3.AntsLive – Just A Matter of Time
AntsLive is an artist that is innovating the UK rap scene, taking it in a different direction. The EP mixes a combination of genres, from alternative hip-hop to grime, tapping into a variety of the listeners emotions. The London rapper shares similarities with heavyweights of the rap game, Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$ and Skepta with his cold delivery, exceptional delivery and overall creativity. This album is a must listen if you are a hip hop fan!
2. Blur – The Ballad of Darren
The Britpop icons certainly did not disappoint, giving us a reunion album to remember. The come-back album felt well-polished with beautiful harmonies and elegant songwriting. We got to see a softer side to the band, but it still managed to keep an essence of that charming 90s spirit. Each track had great character with my favourites being St Charles Square, The Narcissist and Avalon.
There are many honourable mentions in terms of the UK scene that didn’t quite make the Top 10. Perhaps albums that I loved parts of but not the whole thing or albums that I loved at the beginning of the year but not at the end. These include: Overmono’s energy-packed Good Lies, Slowdives’ dreamy everything is alive and I have to mention Arlo parks’ beautiful My Soft Machine.
.Jungle – Volcano
1. Jungle – Volcano
Taking the top spot for British album of the year is electronic music project, jungle, with their superb album – Volcano. It feels like they erupted out of nowhere with their euphoric disco-like dance mixes. In terms of production the album is unreliably rich, sleek and well- refined. This album evokes pure joy and emotion with every song lifting your spirits making you want to dance. Weather it was listening whilst on walks in the blazing sun, or listening on the way to a festival surrounded by my favourite people – these tracks will forever remind me of my happiest times in 2023. Volcano is what 2023 NEEDED and that’s why it deserves this number 1 spot!
Looking back at this list proves that this year has been a weird one for British music and more specifically my music taste. Although I love all the albums I’ve listed, none of them have gripped me like they did last year, knowing every word to every song. Although, I am grateful I have been able to expand my taste and listen to new genres and found people I wouldn’t have otherwise.
Please let me know if you agree or disagree and let me know your Top 3!
The vibrant new EDM producer has gone from strength to strength providing so many of us with this summer’s soundtrack.
The London-based DJ Barry Can’t Swim (real name Joshua Mannie) is without doubt one to watch in the electronic scene. Barry‘s groovy samples and jazz-infused melodic house tracks have already built him a sea of fans desperate to see his sets and I am certain this is just the beginning.
The Scottish born producer blends a variety of dance music sub-genres, including disco, garage and jungle. Barry‘s sound has a unique feel, as he is heavily inspired by traditional jazz music. Interestingly, his appreciation for jazz music started from an early age, as he learnt to play the piano at age 9 and then worked in various jazz bars during his teenage years, purposely surrounding himself with the more traditional style of music.
Barry Cant Swim started creating his own dance hits in 2020, working hard to produce a number of extended projects and singles and he has been unstoppable ever since. His newest EP ‘How it feels‘ is currently on repeat for me with it’s emotive feel, colourful samples and refreshing energy.
2023 has already been an incredibly successful year for Barry Can’t Swim. This year, the producer has massively increased his exposure, attending a number of festivals as well being invited to do a set with the notorious Boiler Room in his hometown of Edinburgh.
Despite his newfound fame, Barry seems to be remaining humble, telling 10magazine that the greatest highlight of his career so far is simply “seeing people you’ve never met before in places you’ve never been before singing along” telling them “it’s still so surreal”.
Barry‘s rise in popularity is not surprising due to the EDM scene in the UK booming in the last couple of years. A report by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) revealed that electronic music is the most popular genre at UK festivals overtaking rock – which has dominated for decades. In the last year, similar British EDM artists have had wider global success for example Fred Aagin.. and Fourtet have quickly risen to the top even headlining the iconic Coachella with fellow producer Skrillex.
Barry is set to release his debut album ‘When Will We land?‘ on the 20th of October.
Personally, I’m very intrigued about the new album as the young DJ has recently taken his sound in a new direction by releasing more chilled, melodic downtempo tracks for example ‘Sonder‘ and ‘God is the space between us‘. So, I’m excited to see what it will be like and how it will be received.
Check out his music below and please comment any other underrated similar artists.
Alley Palley night 1: Fred was in his element! The performance was flawless, from live remixing to incredible visuals but perhaps incomplete?
Last week, the 30-year-old Electronic producer, Fred Gibson, announced on Instagram that he is beyond excited for the show, and that each night of his tour will be different, including setlist, and remixing songs live.
On the 4th of September Fred Again.. played his first show of his European tour and the first of his four shows inside London’s Alexandra palace. The London-born EDM performer smiled in disbelief as he told the crowd, that he grew up going to the iconic concert venue. On the screen he wrote “nothing is ever as good as playing at home”.
Alley Palley opened its doors opened at 7pm. The queues were bearable and after taking time to get some food and drink inside, I made my way into the actual venue and took my spot not far from the front barrier. The support act was London-based EDM duo, Joy Anonymous who played for around 30 minutes starting at 8pm. Their set was lively and well-performed, which set up perfectly for Fred’s show.
After a long wait in what can only be described as a greenhouse due to the venues large glass roof, Fred was finally on at 9pm. Despite the extreme heat and underlying smell of sweat the crowd remained in high spirits throughout the whole show, selflessly helping pass cups of water back to help those struggling in the middle of the crowd.
Fred Again.. opened with the wholesome spoken-word poem turned dance track, Kyle (i found you) whilst the audience screamed every word. Then Fred seamlessly flowed into a handful of emotional songs from his trio of albums titled ‘Actual Life’. This included Bleu (better with time), Tate (how i feel) and into the more energetic track Kammy (like i do).
Then, Fred asks if he can try something he hasn’t tried in a long time, he parted the sea of fans down the middle and walked through eagerly to a smaller stage set up in the middle of the room. The producer then hit the exhilarated crowd with fan-favourites Jungle and popular grime dance track Rumble, playing the song twice and making a completely new unheard remix as he adds heavy drum sounds live.
The king of electronic music then returned to the front stage keeping the high energy and live drums as he teased an unreleased song that samples Baby Keem’s ‘South Africa’. For me, this was when the show went up a level from very good to incredible.
The music then slowed down, as Fred transitioned into his new song, 2023 summer release, adore u, that features the beautiful vocals of Obongjayar. The gentle glittery notes were received with pure elation amongst the crowd. Fred announced, “this one is for your brothers and sisters,” dedicating the song to his sister, whom he wrote the song about. Some people around me were even moved to tears as the song played alongside a compilation of heartfelt videos of loved ones filmed by fans.
The emotions continued to run high, as Fred played his euphoric remix of Frank Ocean’s ‘Channel’ as a video of the beloved singer performing played on the large screen. The crowd then erupted when hearing the first few chords of Delilah (pull me out of this), chanting the melody as they waited for the drop. Simultaneously, the main screen showed videos of fireworks travelling up above the heads of fans onto the huge overhanging screens that fans could look up above to.
For the next track Fred Again.. told fans hold up their phone torches and blue plastic squares they were given in the queue creating a sea of small blue lights. The interactive idea was great in theory, but as the lights in the room were already blue, it didn’t work as well as the producer may have hoped.
The incredible show closed with Angie (Ive been lost). Fred Again.. commanded the crowd to sing along, splitting them into 2 sides and at the end asking them to sing in unison, creating an overwhelmingly ecstatic atmosphere to end the show.
Unfortunately, the only thing stopping this show from being a perfect 5/5 stars was the abrupt ending. Personally, the sudden ending made the show feel slightly incomplete without an encore as a few popular songs were still left to play and it had not yet reached 11pm. For example, the high energy Marea (we lost dancing), Baby Again.. and Turn On The Lightsagain.. were all missing.
However, as I mentioned earlier, each show is supposed to be unique from each other so it makes sense that some songs will be swapped so he can have a different setlist each night. This didn’t make it any easier for the loving fans who waited at least 15 minutes hoping for an encore.
To see exclusive videos from the show follow our TikTok @chunesmp
The new track is short but very sweet with rich vocals being paired with smooth sound production to create a high-quality rap tune.
For this record, the South-west London based rapper and songwriter Mxlode (pronounced ‘Melody’) collaborated with Teeqro, his life-long friend, fellow artist and producer. The duo’s vocals compliment each other well to create a more complex sound.
The lyrics of ‘War and Dior’ reflect Mxlode‘s dreams as an artist as he manifests a successful future “see I never did a show but when I blow I’ll tour arenas with millions”. The chorus also highlights the hate Mxlode received about his music in the early stages. He goes on to suggests that some of those around him switched up after his music career began taking off.
Due to the eclectic mix of sub-genres on this track, there are a number of artists that come to mind who I think will have influenced Mxlode‘s music style. Personally, I hear similarities with UK rap trio D-Block Europe as well as America’s 6LACK. This was echoed by Mxlode himself as he said he looked up to a wide range of artists including Akon, XXXTentacion as well as the king of pop – Michael Jackson.
Mxlode kindly allowed me to listen to the unreleased EP that will be out later this year and it’s definitely a project to get excited about! It’s multi-layered, honest, strongly-produced and flows cohesively, so be ready for the release!
Let me know what you think of the tune and please suggest other similar underrated artists in the comments below!
The last decade has shown a decline in the popularity of the British indie scene in comparison to the love that Britpop music received in the 90s and early naughtiest. But that does not mean their is a lack of talent in modern day indie-rock music – it’s just harder to spot. I handpicked these five artists as I believe they are all underrated and deserve more appreciation and exposure. Let me know what you think in the comments!
The fourtet that formed in 2019 has since tried their best to grow Nottingham’s indie scene one gig at a time. This year they released their first EP, ‘Buck Rogers Time’, consisting of five singles, with the strongest in my opinion being ‘Cotton Wool’ and opener, ‘Porcelain’. Lead vocalist, Bowley, told NME that the band’s sound developed as a result of the pandemic, “We couldn’t actually do ‘band stuff’, so we just talked about and shared music instead”.
The band are now making waves further than hometown, Nottingham, and in fact across the continent, as they’re being invited to play at smaller festivals across Europe. Additionally, the band has been named in NME’s Top 100 Essential Artists for 2023, highlighting the respect and belief the band already has from mainstream music media.
The Oxfordshire-based singer songwriter has released a total of ten singles so far, with themes including the importance of good mates, girl trouble and everyday life struggles. Danny told ‘The Bucket Playlist’ blog that he plans to keep releasing singles because he believes it’s a better way to distribute music. In lockdown, Danny developed his sound from mostly acoustic guitar songs to indie rock, with the help of newly formed band. Danny became influenced by heavyweights of the modern indie rock scene, Sam Fender and Arctic Monkeys – inspiring him to make a “bigger sound”.
Using TikTok to promote his singles and reply to fans, with his great vocals and hard hitting lyrics, Danny is slowly but surely building his own fanbase. The recent single, ‘Ordinary Day’ is already a personal favourite, with its high tempo, classic indie rock guitar rifts as well as perfectly unrefined vocals. This year Danny and his band completed a headline UK tour – I think this is just the start!
Ora Violet are a band trying to break barriers within the indie rock scene. The band that formed in 2019, consists of five members, each with a different nationality, allowing them to create a culturally diverse sound drawn from their different backgrounds. Everything from their music to their song cover art is ambiguous, unique and artistic.
This year, the band released their first full project with EP, ‘Have You Met Me’ consisting of five guitar heavy tracks. Ora Violet said on Instagram: “We are so proud of this, so much work went into it, this is us now”. The standout tracks for me are ‘Feel the Same’ and ‘Last dance’ with the second being about frontman, Tommy’s struggle with addiction and coming to terms with his sexuality.
Despite being so new, the group have already had some success, as they were chosen to support Duran Duran at Hyde Park in London last year as well as having upcoming headline shows in the UK.
This London-based garage rock trio are an exciting group and you should give them a listen! The all female line-up and intricate yet rocky beats gives them a new and individual sound. In terms of their songs influences, they told ‘Gigrader’ that: “it can totally vary sometimes we write songs about different moods or a feeling rather than an actual topic”.
BERRIES return with their first release since their debut album last year, with new track. “Control”. The new track is certainly one of my favourite of their songs, with it’s grungy guitar and layered melodic vocals it stands out as a great single all round. The band is currently going from strength to strength as they have just successfully completed a headline UK tour and announced a string of smaller UK festivals that they will be playing at this summer.
CVC also known as Church Village Collective are a Welsh psych-rock band that are working hard to showcase their music not just across South Wales but worldwide. The band have gained popularity with their debut album ‘Get Real’ as they received a very decent review from NME (one of the Uk’s leading music magazines) as well as having over 63,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. The album sounds well put together and all the songs fit together excellently whilst having a variety of subgenres. For me, the standout tracks were the beautifully melodic and effortless ‘Sophie’ along with the catchy and authentic ‘Docking The Pay’.
The band have just finished a North American tour, including massive festivals and the fun doesn’t stop there as they will be completing a UK headline tour with many venues already sold out in the next few weeks.
With festival season now in full swing, I thought it would be helpful to offer some of my best Top Tips to help reduce waste and your festival carbon footprint! Music festivals not only harm the local environment, they also produce huge amounts of Carbon dioxide emissions. Whilst the problem heavily lies with the festival organisers themselves, these five straightforward suggestions will help you do your bit to minimize the amount of festival waste.
1. Do NOT Throw Away Your Tent
Every year we see the disappointing images of thousands of abandon tents after music festivals. The Association of Independent Festivals estimate that 250,000 so called ‘single use’ tents are left at UK music festivals every year. Some of the reasons people leave tents include: the annoyance of taking them back if they are travelling home on public transport, the fact that they get trashed/ dirty over the festival period or just pure laziness. But this should not be a reoccurring problem. Many people believe that undamaged tents that are left behind are collected and given to charities however this is wishful thinking! The majority of these tents will end up in landfill. many of these tents are non-biodegradable and the concentration of plastic in these landfills release toxic chemicals into the atmosphere risking contamination to soil and groundwater. However, we are heading in the right direction, Glastonbury Festival organisers claim that 99% of festival goers’ tents were picked up and taken home after last year’s festival. To put this into perspective Glastonbury is a festival of 200, 000 people so this is extremely promising. By spreading awareness, this can continue.
2. Reusable NOT Disposable
Reusable items are essential for keeping sustainable. The word ‘disposable’ means they are designed for one use and then they can be discarded; this often involves single use plastic – which do not biodegrade naturally. So, swap that disposable camera for a digital one, swap the disposable containers for reusable Tupperware and carry your things in a rucksack instead of a disposable plastic bag.
Simply by refilling your water bottle at water fountain points that will be located at all festivals, you will not only save money but also reduce the amount of single-used plastic that is getting thrown away, damaging our environment. Additionally, you could use reusable cutlery and plates – just make sure the group shares the washing up!
3. Pick up Litter
It really is that simple. Every little helps a lot, so do your best to recycle as much as possible and pick up any rubbish. This saves the selfless volunteers a massive clean-up job at the end of the festival. Also, Bin your butts! Cigarette butts are one of the biggest contributors to the litter problem at festivals. It is essential that you dispose of them properly and responsibly using the allocated bins.
4. Travel Eco-Consciously
Public transport is always a quick and easy method of getting there especially with the stress of parking permits and spaces often being limited. This is definitely the ideal method for a day festival with no belongings. However, the option of going by car sometimes is necessary when camping for just under a week. To be sustainable you should try to carpool, despite it maybe being a squeeze. Another option is a festival bus or shuttle bus that often go from major cities straight to the destination.
5. Support Charity Shops
Is it really worth it to buy an outfit for one day and then chucking it out? When finding festival fashion, it is always a good idea to look in charity shops. Not only are you supporting a good cause, but it moves away from fast fashion, an industry that is extremely harmful to our planet. Second hand clothes are often cheaper and more durable than typical fast fashion. In the past charities including Oxfam have partnered with big festivals, such as Glastonbury, helping to keep them more sustainable.
The Northampton-born alternative artist played two back-to-back Banquet Records gigs in Kingston (Greater London) last weekend. The concerts showcased the love him and his fans share for new album ‘UGLY’!
The shows followed his six-date run of £1 ticket small pub shows at the beginning of March and a week following the release of his newest project ‘UGLY’. The album that includes a fusion of both punk and grime perfectly illuminates Tyron’s talent with creative lyrics, raw vocals and stripped back production.
Ty’s transparency and vulnerability in his storytelling is what enables him to connect to Britain’s younger generation.
This set of dedicated fans mostly made up of patchwork tattoo and mullet owners did not disappoint and really brought the frantic high energy you would associate with the punk genre to the venue of just under 2000.
Slowthai welcomed fans with a smile asking “how are we feeling? do you feel good? Do you feel great? Do you feel alive?” before joking “I heard a lot of you have been in spoons, so hopefully you’re a lively bunch tonight!”
Deal Wiv it
Slowthai began the setlist with 7 songs from the new album including upbeat singles ‘Feel Good’ and ‘HAPPY’. As soon as the music started the crowd instantly began pushing, jumping, drink throwing and opening up the mosh pit in true punk fashion.
The live band played flawlessly adding so much more to the performance and overall atmosphere. The small venue allowed everyone to have a great view of the stage and the option of being a part of the intense pushing or watching safely from the side-lines.
Tyron himself seemed overwhelmed with joy and contentment as he performed, taking complete ownership of the stage. After receiving a bouquet of flowers from a loving fan he went on to express his gratitude for the people in the room as well as his friends and family.
Slowthai then calmed it down, playing a collection of slower ballads. This includes two slower more emotional songs off his last album ‘TYRON’ (that reached number 1 in the Official Charts) called ‘adhd’ and ‘feel away’. Whilst watching his faultless performance I noticed a handful of listeners in the crowd being reduced to tears highlighting just how meaningful his tracks can be. Although, to ruin the wholesome moment between Slowthai and his admirers the mosh-pits (rather embarrassingly) continued.
To end the incredible show, Slowthai performed two older songs from 2019, fan-favourites ‘Deal Wiv it’ and ‘Doorman’. The crowd’s jumping had the whole room shaking at one point. And to be honest being at the edge of the mosh pit for a whole 10 seconds was enough for me, although it felt like a near death experience – it was completely worth it.
The encore was the opening track to the new album ‘Yum’ and was the ideal ending to what was a lively and euphoric show, Ty left the stage thanking fans and telling them he will be back again soon.
Slowthai took to twitter after the show, saying “tonight was banging” and retweeted a video from the show captioning it “beautiful”.
Overall, I was seriously impressed by Slowthai’s vocals and overall performance. As a frequent Banquet Record’s show attender, I would say this has been my favourite of all, topping huge mainstream artists such as Stormzy. This is simply due to the enormous amount of energy and emotion that Tyron radiates that he feeds straight back into the crowd.
The British quartet’s new album ‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language’ reached number 1 last week on the Official UK Charts, outselling the rest of the top 5 albums combined. The short but amazingly sweet album of just 44 minutes is an incredible fusion of pop and rock.
The Jack Antonoff produced record flows seamlessly as all songs follow the cool dream pop sound that The 1975 are notorious for. This completely contrasts from their previous album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’, as its erratic genre-mixing made it confusing and a less enjoyable listen.
The album feels like it was released at the perfect time (not only because Taylor swift dropped the week after) because it has a certain warmth that encapsulates the autumnal spirit – jacket weather, coffee shops and orange leaves.
Frontman, Matty Healy, sings smoothly complimenting the synths, saxophone solos and 80’s funk rock sound on songs such as ‘Happiness‘. Personally, I think the honest, yet random lyrics mirror how chaotic it is to be a young person in 2022. Furthermore, the song writing is so captivating because the lyrics go from completely light-hearted, satirical and cliche in ‘Wintering’ straight into the lyrically rich, emotive ballads in the final 3 tracks. The juxtaposition brings variety and makes the record an interesting and unpredictable listen.
In an interview with Vulture, Healy said: “I think there’s an element of just growing up that you can hear in the record and across it – the way we did it, why we did it and how it sounds”. Perhaps this is the reason the opening song ‘The 1975’ breaks tradition as it’s without the iconic opening of “go down, so soft, midnight, car lights, playing with the air …”. Instead, the band centres the song around the devastatingly beautiful lyric ‘sorry If you’re living and you’re 17’ which seems empathetic and reflects the uncertainty of being a teenager, possibly directed at fans struggling with the transition into being a young adult.
‘About you,’ is the standout track for me, the heartfelt ballad has a bridge that could certainly rival the likes of Taylor Swift but who is the mystery singer? It’s Carly Holt, married to 1975’s own guitarist Adam Hann, the soft female voice compliments Matty’s remarkably.
My final thoughts are that the new album is simply addictive and despite ‘BFIAFL’ being the bands 5th studio album, it is definitely some of their best work to date. The 1975 have perfected their own sound and write with new maturity, empathy and of course underlying humour.
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Based in Lincoln (Lincolnshire) and Kingston Upon Thames (London)
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