The sound of a band re-emerging from the ether with an emboldened purpose
Matty Pywell
18:00 12th January 2020

Where were you when Bombay Bicycle Club confirmed they were going on a hiatus in 2016? The much-loved indie band have been sorely missed since (even though each member has been involved in different projects). The world got slightly more sour in the time they spent apart, so it was time to rejoice when the band reformed and swiftly announced the release of a fifth album. 

Everything Else Has Gone Wrong is every inch the product of a band breaking out from hibernation and a magnificent rise for the sleeping indie giants, who capitalise on the very best aspects of their previous works. Take the vitality of the band's earlier tracks, such as ‘Shuffle’ and ‘Luna’ (particularly the latter), and disperse their life-giving properties out for the span of almost an entire album and you have Everything Else Has Gone Wrong.

‘Get Up’ is the album’s morning stretch and yawn, starting off the day right with a hearty English breakfast. Setting the tone for Bombay’s introspective look into reasons to live, that never broadens its horizons into existentialism but finds heart through staying grounded. Even when admitting that the world isn’t the shimmering palette dayglow projected throughout the album (the nods to climate change and increasing societal dread on ‘Good Day’), there’s always an optimistic inclination to be found.

“Keep the stereo on, everything else has gone wrong”, is a pertinent line from the title track’s chorus, one that displays a simple reality for Bombay Bicycle Club, that no matter the circumstances music can always be turned to for reflection and escapism. Jack Steadman’s lyrics, “I guess I found my peace again and yes I found my second wind” are sung with the growing intensity of a world champion boxer on the trail to a great comeback but instead of a punch in the gob, he extends a hand of healing.

When Everything Else Has Gone Wrong looks to love, it is set in that previously mentioned grounding of reality and carries forward the album’s healing factor, particularly on ‘Do You Feel Loved?’ The lyric, “All the cracks around your head will fill with light” epitomises the relationship as a conduit for mutual healing. Liz Lawrence and Billie Marten make cameo appearances, the former offering a playful shadow on ‘People People’ and Marten reinforcing the album’s final offering of positive premonitions, “This light will keep me going”.

Bombay Bicycle Club have re-emerged from the ether with emboldened purpose, creating an album that finds a cause for celebration between every person, unconcerned by the bigger picture and instead strives for home truths. Every hook, rhythm and beat is vigorously tangible, and ever evolving over the runtime, changing between the poetic rousing of brass instruments to the subtle mimics of birdsong from the flute. Everything Else Has Gone Wrong shows us that there can be calm and happiness on an individual level, despite wider societal disarray. 

Everything Else Has Gone Wrong is released on 17 January 2020 via Caroline International/Island Records.