In almost every artist’s career comes a point where they have to develop their sound and mature as a band in order to continue growing, but they need to balance this evolution so they don’t lose their current fanbase. It’s the difference between the bands that creep towards the headline slots at festivals and the ones that you almost completely forget about. With their new release So Long, See You Tomorrow, Bombay Bicycle Club are definitely leaning towards the former.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the opening track ‘Overdone’ was a Bonobo track; that is, until Jack Steadman’s vocals come in. You then realise that this is Bombay Bicycle Club showcasing their diversity. The fuzzy, grinding breakdown towards the end of the track begs you to turn the volume up until your neighbours are complaining at your door.
By the time we reach the third track, the album feels well and truly underway. With its offbeat timing, infectious melodies and simple breakdowns, ‘Carry Me’ is the single that will get stuck in your head. The solid groove and repetitive lyrics in the chorus are reminiscent of Hot Chip, and builds the record’s energy before dropping back down for the beautiful ‘Home By Now’. The stuttering piano chords give a ‘remixed’ feel to the dreamy track. It almost feels like a pop/R&B ballad, with its female vocals and utilisation of simple loops.
‘Luna’ is the closest this album gets to Bombay Bicycle Club’s older material. With hints of electro thrown in, this dynamic indie-rock epic will surely be resonating across festival fields this summer.
The Bollywood-infused sound of ‘Feel’ is the first time the band live up to the ‘Bombay’ part of their name. It may catch you off-guard at first, but it’s no reason to be alarmed. Playful melodies and a dancehall drum beat power the track and drive it forward, and you’ll soon find yourself grooving along.
Bombay bring the record to a close with the title track ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’, which washes over you with a four-minute wave of calm before picking up the tempo for two minutes of psychedelic euphoria. It’s an interesting way to end the album, but it certainly leaves you wanting more. In many cases, you’ll find yourself putting it on again.
Comparing this release to band’s debut I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose from 2009, it’s incredible to hear how much they’ve grown. The chirpy guitar riffs and simple chord progressions have been replaced by very carefully selected instrumentations, more complex structures and a much wider musical diversity. So Long, See You Tomorrow will hopefully prove to all the non-believers that Bombay Bicycle Club aren’t ‘just another indie band’, they’re truly talented musicians and they have plenty left to give.
So Long, See You Tomorrow is out on 3rd February and can be ordered through iTunes now. Check out the video for ‘Carry Me’ below.