When a band you like goes on hiatus, you fear the worst. When you hear they’ve a new project, you feel excitement and pangs of “why didn’t you just keep the other band going!”
Luckily 77:78, made up of Aaron Fletcher and Tim Parkin of The Bees fame, have enough similarities and differences to keep us entertained.
‘Jellies’ is 11 tracks of the kind of blissed out, hazy, indie-psych pop, that took The Bees from their Isle of Wight base to the Top 30, Glastonbury and beyond, but with enough retro charm to make you question if it was actually recorded in 2018.
‘If I’m Anything’ kicks things off with laidback keyboards, gently pulsating drumming and wonky psych vibes. ‘Compass Pass’ follows this on skewed blueprint. Massive melodies and keyboards explode from the speakers like audio sunshine. On ‘Poor it Out’ 77:78 slow it down a bit, showing they are capable of writing something tender and heartfelt as well as upbeat bangers.
'ESTWD' continues this vibe, but there is a bounce in its step. “Everyone sees the world, so differently. But you see it the same, the same as me,” they croon over melodic and kaleidoscopic keyboards. ‘Wagons’ closes the album in a jubilant mood, with boozer knees-up vibes, like a psych pop Chas and Dave.
Fletcher and Parkin have released an album that doesn’t fit into the confines of what an ‘alternative’ album should be in 2018. Instead they’ve crafted 11 songs that show off their love of retro sounds, an infectious joy for life, a good melody and a catchy chorus.
We get you. We see the world the same.
Words: Nick Roseblade
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