Not long after their brilliant set at Reading Festival, The Kooks released their fifth studio album. Let’s Go Sunshine is feel-good, free, and fitting.
In conversation with Metro’s Kate Baillie, frontman Luke Pritchard stated that he wanted to make a “proper British band record.” The band did just that, while beautifying the album with a free, joyful, and urban demeanour. Pamela sounds like a classic indie hit, evocative of the music of The Vaccines and The Wombats. All The Time has a groovy blues aura with great vocal ranges by Pritchard. It’s oh so British! Fractured and Dazed is also classic indie pop with its beautiful interplay between the guitars and keyboard. Standing out as one of the highlights, No Pressure is loved up all the same. Sounding like The Kooks we know and love, it has an infectious summer love vibe. The band’s wonderful simplicity is truly key to their charm.
It is likely that Pritchard’s recent engagement to girlfriend Ellie Rose gave the album an uplifting joy. Presented as a throwback to a past love, Tesco Disco has hints of a psychedelic guitar sound paired with some dreamy vocals. Picture Frame is another album highlight with its orchestral beauty and throwback to the classic sound of The Kinks. Tracks such as these display Let’s Go Sunshine‘s harmonious, melodious, and anthemic touch. This helps it to diverge slightly from band’s previous work.
“For all the lovers gone blind”
Moreover, the album’s urban colours give it an extra touch of magic. In Four Leaf Clover, the band is looking for something tangible that keeps you true to yourself in the world doing whatever it can to deny it to you. It truly is “for all the lovers gone blind/Who are looking for a sign.” Secondly, Kids is angsty and has a very classic, grunge-like rhythm. The rebellious drums particularly help with this by being foregrounded. The city-suffocated Chicken Bone also shines with the bouncy nature of its vocals and music. It has an attitude that is particularly socially conscious with lyrics such as “I find it hard to be part of a city when it’s so unjust,” which capture the sore feeling of suffocation when “bricked up in the city and the buildings are laughing.”
Although it has a slightly different feel to their previous records, Let’s Go Sunshine is the album that stays the most true to the charming and classic indie sound of The Kooks since their debut. Here, one of Britain’s indie-pop gems treats us to a joy that is infectious, matured, and timeless. Yes, it is not particularly risky or divisive, yet it is so enjoyable and feel-good. The year is 2018, and The Kooks are still flying the flag for British indie-pop.
Favourites: No Pressure, All The Time, and Picture Frame.
To look back on more of August’s album releases, click here.
From Sophia with Love x