Friday, November 1, 2013

Artist of the Day: Los Campesinos!

Coming from a group so synonymous with excellence as Los Campesinos! 2011's Hello Sadness brought with it an unfamiliar tinge of disappointment. Never as chirpy as their indie pop exterior would suggest, the thought of the septet living up to their fourth LP's dour title was actually rather appealing, so it's unfortunate the results in practice rarely threatened to match that which they promised on paper. Luckily, that bold yet unfulfilled outing appears to have merely been a blip (and a minor one at that) now that the Welsh band have soared back into view with No Blues, a sprightly, jubilant comeback which arguably finds them sounding healthier than ever.

Don't be fooled by the title. Although they represent an upturn tone-wise from the heartbroken wallow of its predecessor, Gareth Paisey's lyrics remain hooked on heavy subject matter, namely the issue of mortality. As ever, they provide a fundamental element the Los Campesinos! appeal, but here the real story is what's going on behind him. Whereas Hello Sadness required patience and application to crack, this record's hooks leap out immediately, be they the glorious electric licks of "What Death Leaves Behind" to the ludicrously overblown indulgences of "Avocado, Baby." Bursting with both youthful energy and an endearing real-world conscience, it's the sound of a band who're firmly back on track, producing some of their finest music to date in the process.


No Blues is out now.

Official website

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