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My Big Day is Bombay Bicycle Club’s most unpredictable effort to date

"My Big Day"

Release date: 20 October 2023
Bombay Bicycle Club My Big Day cover
18 October 2023, 09:00 Written by Lana Williams

Synonymous with idyllic cuts, picturesque lyricism and soothing vocals, Bombay Bicycle Club have become staples of the indie music scene.

From the jangly soundscape of “Luna” to the infectious dittying of “Shuffle” and the folksy smatterings found deep within “Diving” (featuring Holly Humberstone”), their unique sound is completely unmatched – allowing the outfit to stand out as champions of their own brand of indie rock.

With five albums already bursting forth from their extensive discography, 2023 sees the quartet re-emerge with their sixth studio-record in tow – the insatiable My Big Day. Featuring appearances from indie stalwarts such as Damon Albarn (“Heaven”), Jay Som (“Sleepless”) and Nilüfer Yanya (“Meditate”), this latest project sees Bombay Bicycle Club release their most unpredictable and utterly impressive album to date.

Opening with “Just A Little More Time”, offering little more than a repeated title, forceful brass and crashing percussion, the track is a delightful and simple introduction to this new, revamped Bombay sound. Second track, “I Want To Be Your Only Pet”, in contrast, takes its roots in hazy, upbeat instrumentation that could almost be a reverbed Tranquility Base-era Arctic Monkeys number. Teetering on sonically confusing, the track has lyrics to match (“God in my pocket, I'm fine / I won't lose my pride”), delivered by echoey disjointed vocals that firmly propel the band in a completely new direction.

Title track, “My Big Day” harks back to the sound we’re most used to from the London group. Swooning vocals find themselves intertwined with delicately layered instrumentation that doesn’t shy from breaking away at the halfway mark to make themselves the limelight of the track. Following is the most personal and introspective offering on the record. Reflecting on the trials and tribulations of being a first-time parent (“You always think you've blinked and missed it)”, “Turn The World On” keeps with the spirit of sonic nostalgia – both in its narrative, and in being a track that would slow perfectly in any number of their earlier records.

The shortest song with the longest title, “Rural Radio Predicts The Rapture” features parading percussion and brass that slowly crescendos before breaking into an electro-infused soundscape that sits apart completely from the rest of the record. Completely devoid of lyrics, the cut subsides perfectly into the otherworldly sound effects found rooted in “Heaven”. Featuring Damon Albarn (of Gorillaz and Blur fame), “Heaven” features angelic instrumentation and swirling electronics that could’ve only been concocted by the wildly brilliant mind of Albarn.

For “Diving” the band enlisted the aid of indie-up-and-comer Holly Humberstone. The only collaboration having been released as a single ahead of the album, “Diving” boasts summer nostalgia “Sun will light up, it’s all to come”, idyllically construed through delightfully paired vocals and delicately plucked guitar strings. Talking on the track, frontman Jack Steadman notes: "“Diving" is a song about that summer you have when you're 15, the memory of which conjures up such a unique feeling. You're discovering everything for the first time and the world seems as scary and exhilarating as diving off a tall cliff into a lake.”

My Big Day is a powerful offering from Bombay Bicycle Club. Vibrant, joyous, and completely delectable, the band have taken a daring U-turn from their usual breezy, laid-back numbers, and its paid off.

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