So Long, See You Tomorrow
Bombay Bicycle Club
The word that I find most accurately describes Bombay Bicycle Club’s style is ‘chameleonic’. They take uniqueness to new levels, churning out a new sound with every new release; from the pyrotechnic pop steeped within A Different Kind of Fix, to the acoustic and quietly beautiful Flaws, to their original indie rock sound on Always Like This. Today, we are handed the equally fascinating So Long, See You Tomorrow.
So Long reminds me of one of my mother’s soups. Their first album, I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose, is the bones from which the stock is made. Flaws is the veg that adds the flavour. ADKOF is the cheeky bits of meat thrown in that make for a pleasant surprise, and So Long is the final, beautiful produce, steaming and homegrown, made with love, ready to heat us all up for whatever is going to be chucked our way. It’s always the same recipe, with the same ingredients, yet it promises to taste different every time.
Like my mother’s soup, So Long is the result of the journey the previous albums have taken the Londoners on; past experiences always adding to the flavour – such as the Middle Eastern travels that frontman Jack Steadman did in the interval years between albums, clearly reflected in Feel – while the sturdy, traditional techniques that have been passed on through generations stand as the control recipe, the default setting. No matter how many overlays and beats are piled on top, the emotional, reflective lyrics and the indie rock/pop substance remains underneath.
With time, as they grow more confident, we can see BBC’s previous experiments being reworked into something brand new. A new female voice in the form of Rae Morris, along with the old-school, yet equally beautiful Lucy Rose; new rhythms, such as the marching drums and trumpets in It’s Alright Now; the previously mentioned Bollywood air in Feel; an RnB influence in Home By Now My personal favourite has to be Luna: the beauty of Morris’s voice tied in with Steadman’s over a quick beat makes for a song that reminds me of its polar opposite; sunshine, or listening underwater.
Bombay Bicycle Club’s ability to escape categorisation has served as their greatest personal success. Because, as much as I wish this was a summer release rather than a spring, it highlights the good things to come ahead. Festivals, sun, swimming, happiness. Meanwhile, I think that a cheeky bowl of my mother’s soup will gear me up for the summer promised on So Long, See You Tomorrow.