Rightly taking the notable decision to pursue music for a living, Utah indie rockers The Backseat Lovers communicate a wholesome gift with the follow up to their debut album ‘When We Were Friends’ with an entirely new project that flows and delivers delightfully cohesive, fulfilling song material.
After their debut album rocket-propelled the band from the smaller stages of Provo and Salt Lake City to Lollapalooza, there were stadium tours with The Killers and Jack White, two sold out tours of the UK and Ireland inside eighteen months, it was time for the band to channel some of their experience through a second record.
Tackling the urgent theme of growing up, becoming an adult and dealing with the thrills and challenges that can bring, the ambitious album project marks a crisp chapter in The Backseat Lovers’ story, not only in creative and professional terms, it sets out to document the profound impact music has on their young lives in the build up to a key stage as professional musicians.
It may still be early in their careers, but the songs they write, record and perform demonstrate a maturity and complexity beyond their years. It’s an informed sound that echoes a number of musical heavyweights, yet the group take those influences and give them a distinct, new lease of life, one that’s relevant.
Album opener ‘Silhouette’ is quietly seductive at first, but the soft composition continues to build and becomes a loud, supremely noisy affair that sees dramatic guitar lines take over, and the effects that are exhilarating. An accomplished moment, a song such as ‘Growing Dying’ offers compelling, explosive intimacy, while the more traditional, bluesy vibes of ‘Showbank Blues’ feel chilled and playful. Elsewhere, the tranquil, way more introspective ‘Slowing Down’ offers soundscapes that surprise and absorb.
The combined forces of Joshua Harmon’s Thom Yorke-influenced vocals and the finely measured, emotive instrumentation by the band as a whole produce the inspired, contemporary record that deals with the here and now and promises significant, inspirational adventures from the band in the years to come.
Words: Sarah Hansen