Slow Club – Yeah, soPosted: 25/06/2009
So yeah; Yeah, So is the highly anticipated début from Sheffield based duo, Slow Club. Having wetted our appetites with a couple of upbeat singles and an EP, those of you who’ve experienced snippets of this band will be pleased to finally have an accomplished album from the pair.
We’ll start at the beginning with ‘When I Go’. Sounding uncannily like the kind of song that appears on adverts to promote a popular brand of cheese biscuits, it comes as no surprise to learn that it was recently used to promote a popular brand of cheese biscuit (in Canada). The lyrics concern that old adage that goes something like, “If we’re not married by the time we’re 30…”. It’s a gentle opener: folky, delicate and appealing. It sets an alluring tone for the remainder of the album.
Next up is ‘Giving Up On Love’. This one finds SC in upbeat musical territory, despite the somber lyrical message. It’s rolling and quickly builds to a superb, albeit brief chorus. It’s one of a few tracks that demonstrate SC’s ability to hook us in with catchy harmonies.
The album follows a pattern much like that of a Friday night/Saturday night/ Sunday morning formula. Rambunctious, drunken sing-a-longs are followed by sobering and lugubrious yet sweet dirges that gently sway. Despite their PR bumpf extolling the upbeat melodies of Soft Club, it’s often the more melancholy tracks that stand out. Songs such as, ‘I Was Unconscious, It Was A Dream’ and ‘There Is No Good Way To Say I’m Leaving You’, highlight SC’s ability to write poignant and meaningful songs. The aptly titled, ‘Sorry About the Doom’ follows this blueprint, and stands out as a haunting, sobering lullaby in which Rebecca’s vocals shine. ‘Apples and Pears’ is lazy, but not in a bad way. Building then relaxing again into a dreamy reverie, much like curling up in bed on a lazy Sunday morning.
The vocals largely consist of the pair harmonizing; occasionally one of the two takes sole vocal duties, and with promising results. The sparse production lends itself well to their harmonies and amusing lyrical nuances. The simplicity with which the songs glow allow the listener to concentrate on what’s being said, and the songs remain arresting.
The album continues to tread neatly between sugary pop, and reflective ditties. Quite often it may appear unfocussed, muddled even, unable to decide upon its mood. However, it’s not all sobering and many of the tracks provide an uplifting listen. ‘Trophy Room’ is optimistic, finding the pair occasionally yelping in delight, talking about escaping to a life in the sun, maybe Rio de Janeiro.
This young optimism is frequently reflected in songs such as ‘Because We’re Dead’ and ‘Come on Youth’. Many, if not most of their songs deal in some way with lost/potential love, but never step over that annoyingly angsty line. The album contains enough of a jumble of music to remain fresh, quirky and youthful enough to stay compelling.
So, yeah. A definite soundtrack for the summer and a band we’ll be keeping tabs on.