It’s here! It’s finally here. Not too sure why I’m so excited… it’s another album to listen to endlessly, to learn the lyrics, cry and eat cake to. Los Campesinos! forever fill you with every emotion under the sun and I can safely say, No blues does exactly that! Without fail.
Now we’ve all heard single ‘What Death Leaves Behind’ which the band released a few week prior. Although good now…it didn’t quite grab me on first listen. Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind, maybe it sounded too ‘poppy’ for my liking, so I was a little apprehensive before listening to No blues. Although No blues has this ‘pop’ element to it (thinking about it, all the releases do, but No blues is the most ‘poppy’) the ultimate sadness and that true Los Campesinos! Sound of it not being perfectly musically accurate runs throughout the album like holy water. Making this my favourite release of theirs. Exceeding ‘To Tundra’ from 2011s Hello Sadness.
This release is well structured with gentle elements mixed with oddly put together poetry creating an angelic concoction of blues. I like the way each track fades into the next, the production is the most successful of all releases. The Harmonies create a full sound to which invite you in. With Los Campesinos! Being a band of the many, the different sounds, all gel together and it isn’t just Gareth‘s vocals which have developed but that of the relationships in sounds. Clear and crisp, No blues moves away from the somewhat amateur sounds from the first few releases creating something which is worthy of so much praise.
It’s hard to compare this to any of their other releases. It captures the strange lyrics of Hello Sadness. This playful nature to ‘Sticking fingers into Sockets’ and the beauty of ‘Romance is Boring’. I think what I’m trying to say is that although the band has developed, inevitable with it being the nature of a band and also the departure of members, Los Campesinos! remain the same, they’re not trying to be something they are not. With new songs, new issues to talk about, new sounds to create, Los Campesinos! have created a sound which captivates listeners again. I think this release could give a lot of other releases of 2013 a run for their money.
Words: Cat Keller