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THE VIEW

The View

Exorcism Of Youth

    When The View reconvened last year after five years apart, the three old-friends realised just how much they have missed… well, everything about being in a band: the rush of seeing an audience react to their performances, the camaraderie of being together, a simple jam idea evolving into a fully-fledged song. A run of comeback gigs at Glasgow’s O2 Academy saw all 10,000 tickets sold in advance, the fan reaction was overwhelming and they were even joined on-stage by an old friend in the shape of ‘Line of Duty’ actor Martin Compston. After all that, how could you resist wanting more? Especially as their rehearsals for the shows saw the band conjure up a wealth of new song ideas just like they did back when they first started out. 

    Frontman Kyle Falconer says, “Working with Youth on our third album 'Bread and Circuses' was one of the best experiences of my career so we jumped at the chance to revisit the opportunity with him in Spain. To be able to go into the studio again as a band with added experience was just magical."

    Kyle and bandmates Kieran Webster (bass/vocals) and Pete Reilly (guitar) departed their homes in Scotland to record the record in the inspiring surroundings of Granada, Spain, with the assistance of a top tier producer in the shape of the Grammy Award winner Youth (The Verve, Jesus & Mary Chain, The Charlatans). They returned with ‘Exorcism of Youth’ in the bag, a record which combines the raucous energy of The View’s early work with some poignant slowburners drawn from personal experience, and Kyle’s gift for lyricism which is equal parts observational, witty and insightful.

    The View launch the album by sharing its lead single ‘Feels Like’. The band’s fiery energy ignites the song in a blaze of melody before hitting the kind of instantly irresistible hook with which they’ve made their name. It’s a track perfectly built for upcoming shows too, with its breakdown sure to be an immensely atmospheric moment when they hit summer festivals.

    Kyle adds, “This one felt anthemic from the get go. Even though under the surface it’s about somewhere everyone’s been in their life before: regret of losing someone amazing due to your inner demons and seeing them moving on with their life, when you’re stuck in a ‘nightmare not a dream.’ When I first sat down to write it I had Holden Caulfield from ‘Catcher in the Rye’ in mind. It’s playing out in his mind and it’s his own paranoia destroying him from the inside out when in reality she’s the perfect woman."

    Elsewhere, the album darts from highlight-to-highlight, taking in a cocktail of ‘60s pop and punky punch on ‘The Wonder Of It All’, strutting and swaggering on ‘Neon Nights’, and channelling driving, anthemic rock like a trio of Scottish Springsteens on ‘Woman of the Year’. At times, though, it represents an evolution for the band too, with the sweeping strings of ‘Black Mirror’ and the darker alt-pop production of ‘Footprints In The Sand’. Ultimately ‘Exorcism of Youth’ is where The View should be at this stage in their lives: still burning with the passion of youth, but with the confidence and control that comes from having been around the block and, in the process, learned from the experience.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. ‘Exorcism Of Youth’
    2. ‘Feels Like’
    3. ‘The Wonder Of It All’
    4. ‘Arctic Sun’
    5. ‘Shovel In His Hands’
    6. ‘Allergic To Mornings’
    7. ‘Black Mirror’
    8. ‘Neon Nights’
    9. ‘Dixie’
    10. ‘Woman Of The Year’
    11. ‘Footprints In The Sand’
    12. ‘Tangled’

    We Were Promised Jetpacks

    Enjoy The View

      Since releasing 2018’s ‘The More I Sleep The Less I Dream’, We Were Promised Jetpacks’ Adam Thompson, Sean Smith and Darren Lackie have embraced change head-on. Amicably parting ways with guitarist Michael Palmer marked a transitory moment in the band’s acclaimed career, one that would be cemented by events to come. Entering 2020 as a trio with a handful of songs written and a small tour under their belts, the world around them came to a sudden halt. Yet despite the unquestionable hardship that the lockdown brought with it, for a band looking to rebuild following a dramatic change, it also proved to be a blessing in disguise. “I guess it ended up being a lot more collaborative between the three of us,” Sean notes of their fifth studio record, ‘Enjoy The View’.

      As well as providing the space to think more broadly about their own roles in the band, isolation also allowed them to approach their collective sound in new ways. “If you’re trying to write a part when two other people are smashing their instruments it’s not the easiest thing,” Adam laughs. “Writing remotely, you could mute parts and work on things in your head. It just gave us a bit more creative freedom to try different things.” With the space to focus on the structure of the songs over what is immediately possible in a practice room, the band shifted gears. “We’ve always considered ourselves a live band more than a studio band,” Darren notes, explaining how the past twelve months have forced a change. “This was more about focussing on making a really great album rather than thinking about how we play it live.”

      Fifteen years into their career, the trio are more focussed than ever. “We are doing this for ourselves and the people who like our music and get something out of it,” Adam gleams, “I’m really excited about being able to show them the new record.” “We’re all very appreciative of the people who are still listening to us,” Darren adds, “it pushes us to keep getting better”.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Not Me Anymore
      2. Fat Chance
      3. All That Glittered
      4. Don't Hold Your Breath For Too Long
      5. What I Know Now
      6. If It Happens
      7. I Wish You Well
      8. Blood, Sweat, Tears
      9. Nothing Ever Changes
      10. Just Don't Think About It

      Andy Bell

      The View From Halfway Down

        Ride guitarist/singer Andy Bell releases his debut solo album The View From Halfway Down on October 9. The product of a gradual, four-year process and finished during lockdown, the album was entirely written and recorded by Andy, engineered by Gem Archer and mastered by Heba Kadry.

        Back in 2016, Andy was inspired by David Bowie’s death to be more proactive about finishing his songs, more confident about sharing them and to channel all of this into finally making a solo album. He laid down some tracks in former Beady Eye and Oasis bandmate Gem’s studio, but got diverted when Ride’s live reunion blossomed into a full return. A run of two albums, an EP and two world tours later, it would take a pandemic to give Andy the space to complete The View From Halfway Down.

        “I’ve always wanted to make a solo album, I’ve always said I would do it, although I never imagined it happening like, or sounding like, this one does,” explains Andy. “I’d been sitting on this pile of almost finished tracks, along with all the other hundreds of ideas that had fallen by the wayside since I’ve been making music. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to find a way to present it to the world.

        “The album is not about songwriting. There aren’t many verses or choruses, because this album is about sounds, a listening experience.”

        From the ecstatic psych pop of ‘Love Comes In Waves’, to the heady loops of ‘Indica’ and deeply groove-led ‘Skywalker’, the eight tracks mix summery melodies with soundscapes and studio experimentation. The end result sits neatly between Ride’s widescreen shoegaze and GLOK’s textured electronics, variously inspired by The Stone Roses, Spacemen 3, The Beatles, The Byrds, The Beta Band, Stereolab, Neu!, Can, John Fahey, The Kinks, The La’s, The Who and the United States Of America.

        As for the album title, it comes from a particularly dark episode of BoJack Horseman and a poem that scriptwriter Alison Tafel wrote for the penultimate show. The spoiler-free version of the story goes like this: “The poem describes someone committing suicide by jumping to their death and the regret the protagonist experiences when he sees ‘the view from halfway down’. Although, of course, it’s too late to change what’s going to happen. I read this poem as having a message of suicide prevention: if you could see the view from halfway down, you would never go through with anything that would end your life. I’ve never been suicidal, but I felt really moved by this brilliant poem when I watched the show during Ride’s US tour in Autumn 2019. It’s an incredible message.

        “There was a small kind of a parallel with me, sitting at home in London in March 2020. In the early stages of lockdown, you could feel the tension in the air, causing what felt like a global panic attack. But, in common with what I’ve heard from others who can experience anxiety for no reason in their everyday lives, I felt strangely calm in the midst of all of this, seeing things in my life very clearly. Such clarity allowed me to finally compile this record. In a way, to see my life flash before me and be able to curate moments of it into a 40-minute listening experience, then find a title that would fit.

        “My upcoming 50th brought everything more sharply into focus. If you imagine that my entire life was a freefall jump to my death, and you were feeling optimistic about me reaching 100 like my Gran did and getting a telegram from the Queen, this album would be ‘the view from halfway down’.”

        So there you have it. The near death of a cartoon anti-hero and the actual death of a music legend, feeling the calm within a global pandemic and a musical turning point halfway through life all add up to one glorious, technicolour whole.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Love Comes In Waves
        2. Indica
        3. Ghost Tones
        4. Skywalker
        5. Aubrey Drylands Gladwell
        6. Cherry Cola
        7. I Was Alone
        8. Heat Haze On Weyland Road


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