After a healthy hiatus, Bombay Bicycle Club have reunited and released a full-length LP to celebrate their return. Everything Else Has Gone Wrong was released a couple weeks ago and has finally grown on me. At first, I couldn’t really get into it because I thought it sounded like a more alternative pop version of what I remembered the band to be. But after listening to the album in my headphones a few times, I finally found the beauty I was searching for.
The album reminds me of the first time I ever listened to Bombay Bicycle Club. Lead singer Jack Steadman has a gentle voice that whispers lyrics amongst the floaty folk sounds they are known for. Their themes aren’t anything complex but rather, as Steadman describes it, “music in a time of crisis.” He also describes the album as “finding kernels of hope and renewal in dire situations.” This seems to be a common theme amongst music in the past year — for example, in The Big Moon’s recent album Walking Like We Do.
After doing more research about this album and a couple others that have come out this year, it raised a bigger question in my head: is indie rock becoming less authentic? We look at Bombay Bicycle Club, for example, and see this 2010 band that has played at all of the big festival stages. After a much-needed break, they return with a perfectly engineered album. It sounds like an algorithmic equation of their previous LPs. I’m not saying this is a bad thing because I genuinely enjoy listening to this album and its beautiful moments intertwined with lovely lyrics. It does make me wonder, though, is indie rock on its way to its notorious death? Bands like Bombay Bicycle Club were at the forefront of my introduction to alternative rock and alternative punk music. Now to see so many groups like them succumb to formulaic indie pop makes so much guitar music just a little bit too obvious to me now. Maybe I’m getting more pessimistic with age, but there is a lack of authenticity in a lot of music these days.
I think that’s why I’ve been attached to bands and artists like Girl Ray and Faye Webster because they are still shaking things up and playing around with different genres. Through methods like this, they seem to grow in maturity and style. Even if it isn’t the most groundbreaking album, I think action toward their sound shows more authenticity. As a listener, it is getting boring hearing a solid record that we’ve heard the band already do before.
That being said, I don’t deny the musical journey I’ve been on. I had a deep connection with Bombay Bicycle Club and still feel these connections when I listen back to their older albums and their latest album. They are simplicity wizards that can connect with many different listeners through the various chapters of their musical career.
If you’ve always been a fan or have recently jumped onto the Bombay Bicycle, then you’re in luck! They are touring Germany in March so you will have the chance to see them in all of their essences.
Bombay Bicycle Club Germany tour dates:
15.03.2020 – Munich, Backstage Werk
18.03.2020 – Berlin, Huxleys
24.03.2020 – Cologne, Live Music Hall
25.03.2020 – Hamburg, DOCKS