Bamily – ‘Oh Damn’ EP review: London party-starters dancing through the madness

Their second effort of the year is a gutsier listen, packed with more tales of British youth culture

Where Bamily go, a good time follows. Their magpie tastes pull from disco, soul, chillwave, electronica and hip-hop and with that, they’ve amassed a merry crew to tag a long with them. A series of outdoor mini-raves in London’s parks during the summer providing an outlet for one generation’s frustrations during a shonky year. Their present is fading away, and the future does the same.

Second EP ‘Oh Damn’ shrieks of a band that’s itching to get back on stage after lockdown, but also one that reflects the tales of British youngsters – the highs and lows. Catchy funk tune ‘Party Woman’, for instance, shows that off best: a fun, strutting number where the group flips the outdated patriarchal idea of “the walk of shame”. The sexual freedom women deserve to enjoy – ‘the stride of pride’ – is instead explored via relatable, if not clichéd lyrics about “getting started in the backseat” on a late night taxi ride home.

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On their second EP of the year, they rewire the dreamy, lo-fi tropical-pop blueprint of their debut and make things sharper, groovier and better suited for crowd sing-a-longs. The array of styles on offer here – rooted in bold bass licks and exotic sampling – is dizzying, but not to their detriment.

The title track is the standout. A squelching synth bassline and baggy hip-hop beats carry repeated “Oh damn” refrains about the emotional turbulence of his life in 2020. “I wish I didn’t care as much”, Gibson begins in a conversational singing style that he soon juxtaposes with the no-fucks line: “I’m back out front in my birthday suit”.

‘Inspirational Quotes’, a song band member Louis Fulford-Smith says criticises the societal pressures put on younger generations, mocks #basic mottos as meaningless. “Boy, you better stick with it, Gibson sings in a fluttering falsetto, echoing the assertive voices that can clutter a young person’s mind.

‘We Use To Hang Out’ continues in a similarly blissed-out vein, this time thematically centred on the distance felt from friends and lovers during the pandemic. It teases the kind of simmering Balearic house tune that would accompany party afterglow should the band’s much-missed nightlife be in full swing.

‘Oh Damn’ EP is a gutsier, more kaleidoscopic effort, one that’s packed with hooks to score the stories of what it means to be young today. There’s no sign when things might pick up again for Britain’s youngsters, but at least with ‘Oh Damn’ they’ve got something to keep them going.

Details

  • Release date: October 16
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