Time for some much-needed Happyness. The London-based band treated us to a bitesize tease of new album ‘Write In’ last year with their EP ‘Tunnel Vision On Your Part’; a tidy little collection of breathy indie rock songs that satisfied with each listen. ‘Write In’ is their first full-length release since 2014’s revered ‘Weird Little Birthday’, an album that was as bold and freaky as it was pleasant.
On surface, ‘Write In’ doesn’t boast the most diverse bundle of songs, but give it a chance and you’ll see that each song still has its own individual charm, for better or for worse. It’s hard not to feel some sympathy when listening to the ballad ‘Through Windows’, it’s hard not to feel pumped when listening to ‘Anna, Lisa Calls’, and it’s hard not to appreciate the slight My Bloody Valentine feel of ‘Anytime’ – that’s modern shoegaze at its finest right there!
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It would be easy to understand why some people’s enjoyment of the record might be hindered by the continuous moodiness of it all. Luckily some of the varied instrumentals help to give ‘Write In’ its own extensive bouts of varying emotions, but the vocals and the lyrics often follow the same kind of melancholic, smoker’s mutter. This doesn’t make for too much to moan about, but some of the tracks around the middle portion of the album, mainly ‘Bigger Glass Less Full’ and ‘Victor Lazarro’s Heart’ feel like they’re adding nothing to the album, just same old same old.
The shining moment comes in the form of closing track ‘Tunnel Vision On Your Part’, taken from the aforementioned EP of the same name. The song is such a lovely, towering ballad in its near-seven minute frame and while the overall gloominess inside a misgiven Yo La Tengo influence remains, it’s a great, own-merit Happyness song that deserves all the praise that comes its way. The song caps off a really likeable album that might not be the most ambitious of stylistic efforts, and some of it might be too photogenic to be miserable, but there are some fantastic compositions present.
‘Write In’ is far from ground-breaking, but its slickness, its aloofness and its array of fine-tuned indie tunes will turn any curious cat into a happy camper. Nothing pretentious here, just pure Happyness.
‘Write In’ is out April 7th on Weird Smiling.