The fourth album from Bombay Bicycle Club, “So Long, See You Tomorrow” offers a new view of this UK indie-pop group. Known for reinventing themselves on every album, their latest work offers a cohesive electro-pop experience steeped in loops, beats, lush instrumentation and soaring vocal arrangements. The 4 years since their last album has given the members some time to truly craft a record that can reflect their growth. Most of the songs were written during and after extensive traveling in Turkey, the Netherlands and India by Jack Steadman, and those influences are apparent in many facets of the songs, from instrumentation to melodies.
The opening track, “Overdone”, brings us a full-on psychedelic introduction filled with Asian inspired string sampling and a driving beat that shows a more grown-up side to Bombay Bicycle Club. This song is full of promise and the rest of the album definitely delivers a vibrant listening experience. “It’s Alright Now” and “Carry Me” are both beautiful blends of vocals and loops that lift the listener to another place. One of the true standouts of the album, “Home By Now”, showcases the bands growth as musicians and producers. The simple arrangement of piano hook and sparse beats under strong vocals seem to strip the band back to basic elements, showcasing their true skills and beautiful songwriting. It pulls from the folk influences and blends beautifully with pop hooks and harmonies. “Whenever, Wherever” is another folk inspired track that slowly morphs from a simple vocal track, to a delicate layering of beats and then builds into a bright and shiny horn flourish. The building and layering of sounds is reminiscent of Animal Collective and Sigur Ros throughout the track and it creates a celebratory mood right in the middle of the record that continues into the following track, “Luna.”
The second half of the record then moves into a more contemplative feel. “Eyes Off You” has a haunted feeling, while the eerie Bollywood inspired beats of “Feel” lends even more drama to the record. The main weakness is “Come To” and it’s placement in the record. This indie-rock tune would have been better suited at the beginning of the record as a stepping stone to the high points of “Whenever, Wherever” and “Luna”. The placement is a little jarring, especially heading into the title-track at the end of the record, which is a soft and delicate blending of wind samples, beats and vocal layering, bringing the record to a close on a tranquil note. It all clicks together at the end.
Bombay Bicycle Club may have a difficult time figuring out who they want to be from album to album, but with “So Long, See You Tomorrow” they have managed to blend indie, electro and psychedelic pop into a nicely spiced package full of new influences.