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Review by Kate Goodrum
British Sea Power’s long-awaited new album Let the Dancers Inherit The Party sees Brighton’s answer to indie rock return with new material for the first time in four years. The entire recording was crowd-funded by fans who contributed pledges in return for pre-orders, limited edition box-sets and even a tattoo that provides entry to the band’s future gigs. The album is notably diverse in subject matter, with songs exploring everything from stars in the sky to the methodology of media manipulation in the modern world. These diverse topics are held cohesively together with a coherent mood and contemporary sound, creating an album that alludes to the chaos and disorder of today’s political world, whilst simultaneously offering us glimpses of both optimism and hope.
Whilst the band have delved into new projects in recent years – including film soundtracks and a compilation album – their latest release sees them return to their musical roots of previous work, reminding us of their notably exhilarating approach to British guitar music. Let The Dancers Inherit The Party reminds us of the reasons why British Sea Power have previously been nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize and gained widespread praise from legendary figures such as David Bowie and Lou Reed.
The album features the band’s most recent single release, ‘Bad Bohemian’, a track where upbeat and invigorating guitar chords meet lyrics more sombre in nature. The opening line “You said the world was losing all its lustre” hints at a largely political backdrop, alluding to a sense of pre-Brexit panic. This notion was recently explained by the band’s guitarist Martin Nobble, who stated that politicians were “…perfecting the art of unabashed lying”, thus leading to the creation of the band’s “…most direct album” to date. The consistency of the album’s mood and tone can perhaps offer a rare piece of clarity in a time dominated by uncertainty.
Overall, the album is politically direct, melodic and successfully displays a sense of emotional urgency. The tracks seamlessly fuse together rock structures with pop tones, creating promising additions for British Sea Power’s forthcoming string of solo shows and summertime festival appearances.