Having abandoned the streets of London for those of the French capital, Joseph Mount has come a long way since those early, halcyon days of Metronomy. Now 33 years-old, and a father of two, his fifth record sees the frontman harking back to that period - specifically, the more reckless ‘Nights Out’ era of 2008 that spawned trashy neon-coloured jam ‘Radio Ladio’ and the seductive ‘Heartbreaker’. Rather than simply recreating the sound of that moment in time, however, Mount has explained that he was trying to recapture that sense of naivety: writing “straight up” bangers without giving them too much thought.
And bangers he has written: lead single ‘Old Skool’ features a scratch break appearance from Beastie Boys cohort Mix Master Mike, distilling all of that late night thrill into an anthem that takes inspiration from the privileged, pretentious corners of West London (“I've got silver and signet rings / From night climbing and fine dining”).
Although opener ‘Back Together’ bounces with the alt-pop flair of ‘The English Riviera’ and 2014’s ‘Love Letters’, and Mount’s oddball falsetto is still very much present, the Metronomy set-up has shifted: on ‘Summer 08’, Joe has written, played and recorded all on his own this time — and won’t be touring the LP with a band.
As the album develops, so does his flirtation with polished ’80s pop and disco rhythms, and he brings out Robyn on ‘Hang Me Out To Dry’ to achieve this. ‘16 Beat’, meanwhile, showcases his percussive side and age-old love of the drums.
The producer remarked in a recent interview that music to him is about movement; he’d judge the success of Metronomy tracks based on how many kids were dancing at the front of their shows. If that’s still his litmus test, then props to him — because ‘Summer 08’ is certainly more danceable than some of his previous efforts. You can bet it’ll be getting a good rinsing over the summer festival period, providing the soundtrack to cider-fuelled picnics as much as Big Top DJ sets.
‘Summer 08’ is the banger-filled record Mount has always wanted to make, for fun, and we’re very much glad that he did.
Words: Felicity Martin
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