On Tuesday (November 5) Bombay Bicycle Club debuted the first new sounds from their as yet untitled fourth album ‘Carry Me’. It’s a track which suggests the influences on the north London quartet’s new album are set to be more diverse and wide-ranging than ever before. Guitarist Jamie MacColl has blogged for NME about the diverse range of factors which they say went into making this record so special…
“We tried to do things a bit differently for this album. You can see that in our choice to do it without an outside producer, but there were many less subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) things we tried while making this record. Here are some of the ingredients that went into making this album.”
The work of 1800s photographer Muybridge has heavily influenced the artwork and videos for the album. He’s best known for being a pioneer of stop-motion photography. This new album in some ways is one giant loop, the first song relates to the last and lyrically the overriding theme is of life changing, and at the same time staying the same – a feeling I think that everyone can relate to. Muybridge’s work with phenakistoscopes (a form of early animation) ties into this nicely.
The band have in some way always had a relationship with India because of our name, even if it was initially an unintentional one. This relationship was strengthened by Jack and Ed’s trip to India in November 2012, although initially they had gone to play a festival, both decided to extend the trip and Jack being Jack hunkered down in a studio in Mumbai to work on new songs. Being in the home of Bollywood it seemed right to sample the music. These samples soon became part of the new album, most notably on ‘Feel’ which features a sample from the 1954 film Nagin (some of you may know it as the snake charmer song for the famous scene it’s taken from).
Although it seems like somewhat of a cliché for guitar bands to declare in NME that they no longer use guitars, we can’t deny that we have eschewed guitars on this album on a few of the songs. The guitars are definitely still there but I think they have a different place here, compared to our previous work. Although there are a lot of samples and drum loops this is not just an electronic album, it is filled with horns, marimba and piano. There are some huge riffs too.
I think one of the most striking things about the new album is the use of female singers and Jack’s falsetto. Although we have used Lucy Rose in the past, she and Rae Morris both play a very prominent role on the album, each of them adding something to every song they’re on.
Having our own permanent recording space for the first time freed us up to take far more time both writing and recording the album. It gave Jack the time to take what he’d written travelling around the world and work on exactly how those songs should sound. He really threw himself into the production, practically living in the studio at one point. For the first time we weren’t in the position of having a fixed period of time booked in the studio to record the album. It gave us the space to try out as many experiments as possible and see which ones worked. Plus, Suren finally has a place where he can practice drumming all day and night long.