Metronomy’s English Riviera: A Definitive Progress for Indiepop

Picture yourself taking a cheap weekend vacation down to golden beaches and beautiful women, somewhat cutting edge and imagined before. While crushing on dance beats and synthesizers, you bump into English indiepop quartet Metronomy, who have released their 3rd and most mature album to date; English Riviera.  Joseph Mount is the frontman on the band’s project, a serenade to the coastal towns in which the group hails from. Evolving from quirky beats and instruments from their past albums, Metronomy has mellowed out to a more important focus now: songwriting.

The opening intro of seagulls and waves lapping at the shore sets the summer tone and leads us expecting something beautiful. The tone carries right into the first recorded track “We Broke Free”, and we are strapped in for the groovy ride through town. Don’t expect too much, but not too littler either – there are some nice loops and lots of guitar crescendos behind Joe’s mournful words of a lost love – but have faith, because next is the laid-back number “Everything Goes my Way” where this love is found (‘I’m in love again’) and balanced by soothing female vocals to rock you to sleep in a hammock. “The Look” wakes you up with 1980s keyboard riffs and catchy mid-tempo lyrics, “She Wants” is an interesting number for the insomniacs – as Joe sings about someone sleeping through a thrilling mix of synth and bass lines.  At this point the atmosphere begins to change, sort of as a beautiful argument in “Trouble” , and the lush serenade gets muddy focusing more on instrumentals and less on songwriting. “The Bay” is a hit track which could push the band towards mainstream, reminding listeners where they are; we’re not in  London, Paris,  Berlin,  Hong Kong, or Tokyo – no, we’re still happily dancing in the middle of English Riviera.

The last two tracks aren’t overly dramatic, and very jazz-electro  instrumental. There’s no big finale, just a natural fade away – like ice cubes melting in your spiked lemonade. This wraps up the summer trip we took as we head back home – sound filling the car stereos so we can reflect on the good times we had.

This isn’t a standing ovation, but definetely a huge accomplishment for Metronomy, moving in with their growth at a perfect time, when influential group LCD Soundsystem just moved out.  English Rivieria is sexy, groovy, and 100% crush worthy.

By Melisa D

City girl, educator/consultant, in love with the sound and sunny days.

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