Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
The Seldom Seen Kid // Fiction
“I’ve been working on a cocktail called grounds for divorce”, asserts Garvey of his hometown on the brilliant Zeppelin-ish lead single ‘Grounds For Divorce’ – and it’s this sense of emotional upheaval that permeates the entire album. A semi-comic duet with Richard Hawley (‘The Fix’) aside, it’s their darkest record in years – ‘Some Riot’, for example, is a return to the claustrophobia of 2001 debut ‘Asleep In The Back’ – but also one with euphoric peaks at every turn. Lush epics such as ‘Starlings’ and ‘Mirrorball’ dominate the landscape and none more so than ‘One Day Like This’ – a seven-minute gospel-tinged masterpiece built for a chorus of thousands at Glastonbury this summer.
‘The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver’ is the jaw-dropping centrepiece, however: a majestic orchestral lollop that details the pitfalls of success and which sounds like a dinosaur learning to ice-skate. Like almost everything here it’s an awe-inspiring labour of love that both soothes and swells the soul.In spite of the turmoil of its conception, ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’ is a stunning record, a career-best from a band whose consistency has seldom been matched by any British indie band this decade.
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