It’s no surprise that Bombay Bicycle Club’s latest, So Long, See You Tomorrow, was their first to reach the top of the UK Album Chart. Not only did the band gain a bit of momentum with A Different Kind of Fix, but it’s also been three years since we last heard from them. Anticipation can be a powerful weapon, but it’s effects aren’t always favorable.
Luckily, the stylistically-confusing Londoners do not disappoint with So Long, See You Tomorrow. After dabbling in garage rock revival (I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose), back-to-basics acoustic singer-songwriter (Flaws) and occasionally-electronic soft indie rock (A Different Kind of Fix), Bombay Bicycle Club seem to have found their way to something they can call their own.
So Long, See You Tomorrow is arguably the band’s most compelling and sonically-engaging work to date. As early as the album opener, we’re introduced to frontman and primary songwriter, Jack Steadman’s newfound comfort with world music (primarily Bollywood) as well as his willingness to incorporate a more noticeable use of the electronic sounds and ideas introduced on A Different Kind of Fix. In fact, if there is any linear evolution in the Bombay Bicycle Club storyline, it’s their compulsion toward electronic instruments between the last two albums.
However, what’s most gripping about So Long, See You Tomorrow is the influence their new sound has on Steadman’s charismatic emotionally-forthrightness. This nearly-flawless marriage is perhaps most apparent on “It’s Alright Now” or the album’s final track.
Starting with a looping synth, repeated lyrics and what I think are woodwinds, “So Long, See You Tomorrow” eventually crescendoes into something probably more at home on A Different Kind of Fix, but as the song falls back to a simmer the new Bombay Bicycle Club is fully realized in song’s explosive closing minutes.
So Long, See You Tomorrow very solid album and a very important step for the band. It deserves your attention. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard any Bombay Bicycle Club before, the context of their catalog has hardly ever hinted at what was in store. Enjoy!