Narrow shoulders, a meek frame, and scruffy haircut may adequately describe a handful of self-conscious English teenagers. However, in the case of Jack Steadman, the timid demeanour has flourished to produce London’s latest indie icon. Along with friends Jamie MacColl, Suren De Saram, and Ed Nash the quartet better known as Bombay Bicycle Club churn out songs filled with bright-eyed adolescent wonder that imparts any rush to grow up. Island Records released their debut album entitled I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose on July 6.
The spirited child prodigy that is Bombay Bicycle Club played at Virgin Festival’s ‘Road to V’ competition three years prior at the tender age of sixteen. Comparable to A Lesson in Crime-era Tokyo Police Club, the group outgrew the high school gymnasium as their characteristic venue. I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose does something notably cherished amongst adolescents – it delivers wholeheartedly on a promise. Bombay Bicycle Club is the friend that can keep a secret about your senior crush, and taking into account that their album release party was a 14+ event, your senior crush was most likely in attendance. Their music is a reflection of another teenage anomaly, an unshakable comfort in personality; much like an ardent childhood infatuation for Pokémon, Bombay Bicycle Club exhibits their passions openly. I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose does not strive to be anything greater than itself, whether that be house parties, sneaking out, or girls, the lyrics articulate a personal sentiment proving that you can amass several stories worth dancing to in nineteen years.
Bombay Bicycle Club’s very lack of pretension allows for a musical breadth that is suddenly evident within the albums opening tracks. From the elegantly sighed lyrics on ‘Lamplight’ to the mechanized urgency on ‘Evening/Morning’ and the ricocheting guitar chords on ‘Dust on the Ground’, Jack’s shivery vocals span from Placebo’s Brian Molko to The National’s Matt Berninger. ‘Always Like This’ encapsulates I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose, showing an insight beyond the resonant beat and youthful exuberance, the track is flush with reminders of the joy in hopping through rain puddles and the simplicity of holding hands.
If there is a sense of rueful innocence in indie rock Bombay Bicycle Club have found it, encountering a perplexity in youth with playful naivety and lyrics that will keep your hips shaking to infinity. Awkward, apprehensive, and acne-laden adolescent years have never sounded this pleasant. The band is currently on tour throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, you can find all their tour dates here – and yes, they still play 14+ shows. Enjoy the video for their single ‘Evening/Morning’ below.
Tags: Bombay Bicycle Club