Artist: Los Campesinos!
Album: Hello Sadness
Label: Arts & Crafts
Seven strong indie popsters Los Campesinos! have titled their fourth full length release in the only way the band know how; emotionally. Hello Sadness is a triumphant release and the bands official third album since the release of Hold On Now, Youngster… their first album put out in 2008. The Cardiff based band makes catchy, hopeful ditties that have captured the hearts of a now loyal fan base.
Lead singer Gareth has an obviously English accent as he sings, he spits heart wrenching sentences in a strangely beautiful way. The lyrics are playful, teenage outbursts, observations that make you stop and listen. The opening track for the new album is “By Your Hand” a happy, shouty and romantic combo in which Gareth sings the poignant lyrics “I’m not sure if it’s love anymore but I’ve been thinking of you fondly for sure, remember what your heart is for”.
The title track is a driving, emotionally charged track that embraces happiness and sadness equally, representing the strange mix of emotions that leave one confused. “A wish bone hangs between your breasts, I hope you haven’t pulled it yet” the metaphor sets an emotional tone for the song. The second track is cheekily titled “Songs About Your Girlfriend” and is a look at ex relationships and obsession. “Baby I Got The Death Rattle” is an angrier song but also one full of despair.
The album is full of interesting instrumental aspects like the glockenspiel dotting around the opening track and the violin which punctuates “Every Defeat a Divorce (Three Lions)”. Female vocalists come in for “The Black Bird, The Dark Slope” which is an orchestral mash of energy with a choir like feel. The album close “Light Leaves, Dark Sees Pt II” is an apt finish, the chorus is backed with the vocals of all of the singers in the band ah-ing in response to Gareth’s decisive vocals which fade away to leave the beautiful ending notes on the electric guitar.
Hello Sadness is a great mix of songs full of original lyrics, catchy indie pop melodies and romanticism; all of the things Los Campesinos! do best.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.