With their third LP, Metronomy not only return with a new rhythm section in bassist Gbenga Adelekan and drummer Anna Prior, but a new sound which is a triumphant departure from the nu rave stylings of 2008’s ‘Nights Out’.

Whereas their last offering was made for the dance floor, The English Riviera – inspired by Joe Mount’s Devonshire hometown of Totnes – swaps frantic electro acrobatics for a sun-kissed coolness, in which understated vocals float over the lazy funk of the rhythm section. Tracks like ‘The Bay’, ‘Love Underlined’ and ‘The Look’ are laced with hypnotic arrangements that are initially minimal, but build in intricacy and, instead of reaching a climax, just leave you wanting more. Another highlight is the latin-funk of ‘Everything Goes My Way’, which features silky vocals from Roxanne Clifford over girl-group harmonies and a creeping bass and saxophone combination.

The standout track for me however is the rather sinister ‘She Wants’, which incorporates one of the most chilling uses of synths I’ve heard this year. With The English Riviera, Metronomy have perfected the art of complex subtlety with results that demand repeated listens.

James Smyllie

…James has been listening to:
Mandy Moore – ‘Candy’…

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