Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews at 2KHz at Church Studios
A Bombay Bicycle Club song finishes and you look down at your arms. They feel like they're cooking a little bit. They've pinked themselves. You've forgotten exactly how long you've been walking around in the sun, holding hands. You've been in a different world for some time now and you're not even certain with whom you've been holding hands, but you're not breaking with them now. It feels alright, with or without any words being exchanged. Can't you both just continue walking like this, right into whatever's left of the sun that you've been living through? You just feel like things might be turning around a bit.
There are definitely moments for the downtrodden on the songs from the Crouch End, London band's latest record, "A Different Kind of Fix," but there seems to be a feeling of uplifting possibility going around and it just might get caught if it keeps circulating. There are feelings of grave dealings and people sleeping their lives away, but there always seems to be another character shaking those things and people firmly by the shoulders, or throwing some ice water on them, to get them to snap out of whatever glazed state they're put themselves in.
Lead singer Jack Steadman asks a few times on "How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep," if it's late enough, if it's finally an agreeable time to wake someone up so that they can get along with their day instead of just squandering it beneath the sheets, even as the sun had - hours ago - burned off all of the dew. "Always Like This" is a song that makes you want to shake the sand out of your shoes and collect up enough wood to take down to the beach for an all-night bonfire. You just cannot help but feel that there's so much out there still that needs to be embraced, to be grabbed and enjoyed. It's about not wanting to waste another second on what you've been wasting them on for as long as you can remember. Steadman sings, "Oh you can't wait for/What I can give you/Know what I am/So you know how I live it/Try to look proud/But you're not in the slightest/It's happening now/But it's always been like this/Like this/I'm not whole/I'm not whole/Oh, you waste it all/But I'm not whole."
There's nothing but shaky confidence here. There's someone saying not to rely on them for anything because they haven't got anything figured out, that they're no good and still, it's all framed as an outcry that they're in shambles, just a wreck and they're bound to regret all of this sooner rather than later. They should consider keeping on with the hand-holding and trying to make the other whole, give them what they need and want, as best as they can - just make it up as they go along. It just might be the only way that anything would feel right or warm.
Bombay Bicycle Club Official Site