Band Appreciation Friday – Bombay Bicycle Club

I could be home by now

First off, I want to apologize that this post is a day late. I have been so busy with finals and various other things this week that I haven’t had time to work as much as I wanted to on this blog. I think of this blog as my job, so it’s disappointing to miss a deadline I’ve set for myself, one of the things being Band Appreciation Friday. So, whoever reads these, know that with this post I am now back on track! Thanks for understanding. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I have decided to talk about Bombay Bicycle Club for this week’s Band Appreciation Friday because I’ve been so obsessed with their newest album So Long, See You Tomorrow recently. Also, I’m seeing them in concert soon, so it only seems appropriate.

FlawsBombay Bicycle Club is just one of those bands that constantly surprises you. They’re innovative, creative, and incredibly original. Their music is heard with the ears, but directly felt with the heart. I first heard Bombay Bicycle Club’s 2009 album Flaws about two years ago. I adore it’s effortless folk vibe and quirky, yet incredibly heartfelt lyrics. It was funny to me how a band that relied so heavily on rock and punk pop influences for their first album went full on acoustic and folk inspired for their second album. It was a bold move, but there was no time or reason to complain. Bombay Bicycle Club delivered, and Flaws, along with the band’s new persona, were embraced. John Steadman, lead singer and front man, quickly adapted to the change. The album starts out with the Simon and Garfunkel esque song “Rinse Me Down,” which shows off the band’s abilities in fleet style guitar melodies and colorful tonal imagery. The soft and delicate song “Dust on the Ground” is the perfect gateway into the band’s most successful single, “Ivy and Gold”, which houses some of the most beautiful guitar melodies I have ever heard. and John Steadman’s voice quivers and trembles in the best way possible. There’s a brilliant, gentle nervousness to his voice, which only adds to the passion and meaning to each and every song on this album. “Flaws,” the track the album is named for, is definitely the deepest and most depressing on the album, but has a stunning duet and radiating guitar plucks. Some might call the lads (John Steadman, Jamie MacColl, Suren de Saram, and Ed Nash) a bit fickle for changing genres so rapidly on only their second album, but hey, these boys are still, well, boys. They are young enough to get away with jumping around to different styles, yet mature enough to rise to the challenge and deliver promising results. They proved they could take on the folk vibe, now it was time to get serious.

homepage_large.41985a75A Different Kind of Fix was released in 2011, and was worlds apart from Flaws. This album was more indie than what was being made before, and therefore a bit more experienced and impressive. Bombay Bicycle Club showed with A Different Kind of Fix that the band was more refined and more in tune with their own strengths, which is incredibly attractive as a relatively younger indie band. “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep” is the track that was meant to wow their loyal audiences, in order to pull you in for more and show off their new and improved style. It definitely delivered, with repetitive, vibrant guitar riffs and wonderfully spastic drumming. “Your Eyes” and “Take The Right One” brought more alternative style guitar and energetic drumming, but were toned down some and muted somewhat by John Steadman’s mellow voice. “Shuffle” is the stand out track from this album, simply because the lyrics are meaningful and where I believe John Steadman shows off a different side of him vocally that was never seen before. The song is made playful by the childlike piano melodies, and the bouncy feel it gives off is infectious. The melancholic, delicate, yet haunting song “Still” closes the album, with their audiences craving more. Luckily, they didn’t have to wait too long. In fact, they were in for a massive surprise.

homepage_large.c2d96c17So Long, See You Tomorrow was released at the beginning of 2014. In my opinion, this album proved that the band had finally found their niche. Flaws was mellow and nostalgic, A Different Kind of Fix was fresh and more mature, but So Long, See You Tomorrow is extroverted and electronic, something I never thought I would see from this band. The band shows off their so called “evolution” with their lively and exuberant song “Carry Me” where vibrant drums propel the band’s reputation to new heights. It’s impressive and dynamic, along with the more mellow and soft “Home By Now,” one of my personal favorites. John Steadman’s voice is simply perfect in that one. “Feel” pays homage to the band’s name by providing their audience with more exotic instrumentals and vocals that are filled with passion. Overall, this album had more electronic, indie pop influences, and was more aggressive. The band has finally settled into their respective genre, and I believe that this is where they belong – evoking positive, happy feelings with the occasional sentimental song that makes you think. Bombay Bicycle Club always manages to inspire me and remind me that you can bounce back from any hardship. I adore everything they have done, and can’t wait to see what they will surprise everyone with next time.

 

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