It’s been almost three years since Bombay Bicycle Club’s last musical offering, A Different Kind of Fix, a record which saw the beginning of a transition from their trademark fragile, skinny-jeaned, coy, indie sound to something altogether more confident and distinctive, allowing them to soar above the other ten a penny, floppy haired, four piece ensembles in the overcrowded ‘indie’ market. Despite their rising popularity, BBC have always managed to create records which are just a footstep outside of the bounds of what’s hot right now, but still charismatic and charming enough to hold onto a large and fiercely loyal following.
So Long, See You Tomorrow is the latest release from the Crouch End born and raised indie four piece; with this being their fourth studio album which is a veritable achievement when you realise these bright young things are only just into their twenties. It must also be noted that lead singer Jack Steadman stepped up to produce the whole record, creating an excellent example of why more bands should produce their own records.
From the first few seconds of track one “Overdone” you could be mistaken for thinking that you’ve downloaded an old Streets backing track by accident, until Steadman’s trademark clean cut vocals creep in, reaching the highest of falsettos at the peak of the track- smoothing out the tough electric guitar riffs and syncopated drum beats. The refreshingly experimental bold beats and trippy loops continue right through the record, especially on “Carry Me,” “Luna” and “It’s Alright Now”, all complimented by simple lyrics which are delivered in the traditional Steadman manner; undeniably polite yet still oozing with emotion.
The album as a whole seems to have a quite defined split down the centre- at times making it sound like despite wanting to explore new influences and directions, BBC didn’t want to abandon their delicate acoustic roots just yet. This is wholly demonstrated through the tender “Eyes Off You” which could have easily featured on 2010’s ‘Flaws.’ It serves as a beautiful reminder of how far BBC have evolved as a group, but at the same time sticks out like sore thumb. Especially when compared to the exotic sounding “Feel”, which has undeniably been influenced by Steadman’s recent globe-trotting habits with its enchanting Bollywood loop sample opening, it’s obvious that there is a huge gap between the two sounds and makes you wonder if such a mellow track was even required on BBC’s most upbeat record to date.
The album ends with the title track of the album, So Long, See You Tomorrow which in the colossal 6 minutes and 3 seconds transitions from a down-tempo electronic number with looped samples, into a lively, synthetic section of overlapping vocals and heavily edited brass samples before simmering down into a gentle finish.
So Long, See You Tomorrow is a perfect example of why Bombay Bicycle Club have maintained their lead in the indie market for so long; they’re naturally evolving and instead of recycling the same old white guitar noise, they are striving to blend unexpected genres of music with their personal musical mannerisms to create something we can all digest and enjoy dancing to on a Saturday night.