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Albums of the week - from Bombay Bicycle Club to Courteeners


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Bombay Bicycle Club album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong.

Bombay Bicycle Club album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong.

COURTEENERS — MORE. AGAIN. FOREVER.

COURTEENERS — MORE. AGAIN. FOREVER.

Handout photo of Kiwi Jr. album Football Money

Handout photo of Kiwi Jr. album Football Money

Handout photo of The Big Moon album Walking Like We Do. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Music Reviews. Picture credit should read: Fiction Records. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Music Reviews.

Handout photo of The Big Moon album Walking Like We Do. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Music Reviews. Picture credit should read: Fiction Records. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Music Reviews.

Bombay Bicycle Club album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong.

Indie rockers Bombay Bicycle Club return after a hiatus with their new LP Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, while there are differing flavours of musical offerings from the likes of Gabrielle Aplin and The Big Moon.

BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB - EVERYTHING ELSE HAS GONE WRONG

After a half-decade hiatus, London's indie rockers are back. The quartet released their last album, the aptly-named So Long, See You Tomorrow, in 2014 before a hiatus was announced in January 2016.

The band returned last summer for comeback gigs and now there is finally a new record to enjoy - and, unsurprisingly, it's a resounding success of its genre.

With crashing drums and atmospheric synth from the off in opening number Get Up and title track Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, this is a quirky album of entertainment and intrigue on first listening and joy thereafter.

It remains to be seen whether this offering will reach number one as the band managed six years ago, but for lovers of indie-rock this definitely is a must-have. For everyone else, it will grow on you if you give it a chance.

8/10: Edd Dracott

THE BIG MOON - WALKING LIKE WE DO

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Handout photo of The Big Moon album Walking Like We Do. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Music Reviews. Picture credit should read: Fiction Records. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Music Reviews.

Handout photo of The Big Moon album Walking Like We Do. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Music Reviews. Picture credit should read: Fiction Records. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Music Reviews.

Handout photo of The Big Moon album Walking Like We Do. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Music Reviews. Picture credit should read: Fiction Records. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Music Reviews.

The Big Moon's follow-up to their 2017 Mercury prize-nominated debut sees them branching out from guitar-based indie pop and experimenting with new instruments and darker subject matter.

While Don't Think heads into the electronica arena, most of the songs have a minimalist, down-beat character, often emphasising stark piano chords and vocal harmonies. The lyrics tend towards the rueful, but they're distinguished by a high level of wit, such as in Dog Eat Dog's refrain that life's struggle is "more like a pigeon eating fried chicken in the street".

It can sometimes make for abrasive listening, but this is a pop record of uncommon depth that deserves close attention.

7/10: James Robinson

GABRIELLE APLIN - DEAR HAPPY

Gabrielle Aplin's third long-player is a peppy and emotional look at happiness from the ever-maturing artist. The 14-track album makes for a cheerfully cohesive listen and provides a well-needed balm for the challenges of 2020.

Dear Happy shows immense growth from her darker previous work. Til the Sun Comes Up is a strong, upbeat opener and the relentlessly cheerful Kintsugi encapsulates the best of the album.

The singer-songwriter moves through the genres with pop tracks paired with the more exposed piano ballads most associated with Aplin.

Dear Happy's true strength though lies in its bubbliness and relentless optimism, which make it almost impossible to be dour when listening to the upbeat tracks.

6/10: Jess Glass

COURTEENERS - MORE. AGAIN. FOREVER.

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COURTEENERS — MORE. AGAIN. FOREVER.

COURTEENERS — MORE. AGAIN. FOREVER.

COURTEENERS — MORE. AGAIN. FOREVER.

The Manchester indie outfit recently went through a line-up shake-up and the product is a 10-track treat that sounds nothing like the Courteeners.

Hailing from the centre of the musical universe, the band were known for emulating the greats that went before them, but when you get to your sixth album, which direction do you go in? Well, songwriter Liam Fray went left of field, far more so than their synth-heavy third album Anna.

It's a frenzied, scatty affair as the music chops and changes through different tempos.

And if it weren't for Liam Fray's signature vocals, would we have known it was a Courteeners album? There are a few of his signature flourishes and he can't quite drop the love song. Overall, it's a brave and bold, psychedelic, swirling mash-up of different styles set to a rough indie background.

7/10: Sophie Goodall

KIWI JR - FOOTBALL MONEY

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Handout photo of Kiwi Jr. album Football Money

Handout photo of Kiwi Jr. album Football Money

Handout photo of Kiwi Jr. album Football Money

Remember the halcyon days of Noughties indie? Toronto's Kiwi Jr do. Think The Spinto Band should have been way bigger? Then Kiwi Jr's debut album Football Money is for you.

Short - less than 30 minutes in total and Soft Water Apple clocks in at just 67 seconds - sharp, hook-laden songs with hints of Pavement, The Strokes and Lou Reed on Wicked Witches.

Murder In The Cathedral references jangle pop maestros Big Star and James Dean while Swimming Pool is about the mysterious drowning death of Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones, and Salary Man about working soulless office jobs.

With bands as good as this and Alvvays, we'll all be tempted to step back and spend more time in Canada.

8/10: Matt George

Belfast Telegraph