Release Date: Jan 17, 2020
Record label: Caroline
What are your reasons to be cheerful in January? In a month where inspiration can be in short supply, it’s not bad thing to opt for wall-to-wall music to get through the bare bones of the year's first instalment. The time is ripe, then, for the return of Bombay Bicycle Club, and all the positivity their music has entailed until now. Yet on the face of the title of their fourth album, trouble could be afoot.
Up to their 2016 split, Bombay Bicycle Club walked a fine line between commercial viability and artistic self-governance. The Crouch End, London-based four-piece managed to outgrow their early post-punk peers with a body of work that was less concertedly focused on irony—suggesting the kind of chipper attitude that felt built for arenas rather than clubs. But credit where it's due, given that they followed up 2009's breakthrough debut I Had the Blues But I Shook Them with an intimate album made entirely of acoustic songs instead of trying to woo the NME by writing Fluorescent Adolescent.
Ask 10 people to describe the sound of Bombay Bicycle Club you'll probably get 10 different answers; it all depends when they got into them. Perhaps you thrashed along to Bombay Bicycle Club's post-punk jams at the pub in 2009, when they released their debut I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose; or maybe you were more into the stark genre-flip of their 2010 follow-up, Flaws, which was more freakish whisper-folk. If you got into them around 2012-2014, you'd have heard more expansive ideas, and a rush of electronic lifeblood--particularly on their best record to date, 2014's So Long, See You Tomorrow.
Bombay Bicycle Club have emerged from a six-year hiatus with a striking record that is exquisitely produced and well thought out. Sometimes a break can result in records with more misses than hits, or a new sound that is so uncomfortably unfamiliar, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth where your once unquenchable thirst dissipates into obscurity. But 'Everything Else Has Gone Wrong' is a culmination of Bombay Bicycle Club's evolution of sound, from the guitar music we fell in love with on 'I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose', to the woozy folk on 'Flaws', as well as bringing in elements from the more experimental, synth-driven 'So Long, See You Tomorrow'.