The Wombats are releasing new album ‘Glitterbug’ on the 6th April 2015 which comes four years after 2011’s ‘This Modern Glitch’. They have always taken their time in between releases which suggests that writing doesn’t come easily to them. They acknowledged in an interview that ‘This Modern Glitch’ included some ‘filler tracks’, which led Murphy, Tord and Dan to shake up their writing process (Dan and Tord created backing tracks in London, whilst Murphy wrote in LA) and to work hard at their craft for the sake of their new album. So here they are in 2015 armed with a heap of tunes and a concept about a fictional woman in the city of Los Angeles. Here’s how the promising ‘Glitterbug’ is shaping up so far:
The opening track finds the band kicking off ‘Glitterbug’ in melancholic territory which is trumped by a soaring pop chorus. They have always had a knack for creating a melancholic atmosphere in and around their poppy melodies which makes the band’s sound so compelling, they are like the sonic equivalent to the last episode of ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’. Murph’s concept about the fictional woman and the city of Los Angeles begins here, it juxtaposes the falsity of emoticons with real feelings (“behind these metaphors I want you literally”) which can arguably be reflected in the equally false nature of Los Angeles. However, Murph seems to like this idea as the outro finds him proclaiming “I like it here so much I might stay.” ‘Emoticons’ pulls you into the world of ‘Glitterbug’
The lead single from ‘Glitterbug’ was unleashed right at the beginning of 2015, the question on everyone’s tongues was: what musical pathway have the indie boys from Liverpool gone down? The answer came in the form of this big glittery pop song about a doomed romance with a girl who “hits like ecstasy.” The spiralling synth-loop and its bursts of Eastern melodies shows their sound has expanded way beyond the indie-guitar sound of their debut album; it is a glimpse at the aces up their sleeves.
Your Body Is A Weapon
The band released this single way back in October 2013, on reflection it’s clear that ‘Your Body Is A Weapon’ aided the direction of ‘Glitterbug’ sonically and lyrically. Murphy is great at carving out characters and their stories, this one is a creepy account of a paparazzi photographer being romantically infatuated with one of the A-list stars he is snapping. Big walls of U2-reverb echo throughout this tune in amongst the ‘locked in’ drum and bass, the band sound tight and are firing on all cylinders from the vocal harmonies right through to the screeching guitar solo.
The English Summer
This is a nod back to the old Wombats sound, it’s simply guitar, bass and drums; there’s no tricks here and its great to have it back for one track. This will undoubtedly have ‘ex-indie’ boys and girls dancing at this years festivals like its 2007 – it’s fun, a bit throwaway and catchy as heaven.
‘Glitterbug’ is shaping up to be the album that ‘This Modern Glitch’ should have been. I’ve always had a soft spot for The Wombats (which probably comes from the indie-boy within), the fact is that they are never going to be ‘Mercury Prize winning darlings’ or dominating the critic’s end-of-year lists. The group instead have buckets of charm and an undeniable ability to write great pop songs, and who would want anything more? Bring on ‘Glitterbug’ man!