Attic Lights are back, after some label shake ups after their debut ‘Friday Night Lights’ (Island Records), Super De Luxe (Elefant) is their follow up, and if lead single ‘Say You Love Me’ is anything, it’s showing us that this is one album not to miss. After finding their extra break covering the song that would be the theme tune to the latest 2009 version of the TV show Minder, ‘I Could Be So Good For You‘, they claimed to more fame. With singles ‘Wendy‘, ‘Never Get Sick of the Sea‘, ‘Bring You Down‘ and even ‘God‘ showing a love of melody based pop, the more rock/pop sound of Attic Lights is beginning to show now with second album Super De Luxe, let’s get to the music shall we!.
Say You Love Me
The album kicks off with the almost grungy guitar sounds of lead single Say You Love Me. We didn’t think it was possible to create a rock rift with chanting vocals that still sound like the cheery pop sound that Attic Lights are known for, but man they’ve done it. Say You Love Me is an instant hit, sticking in your head from first listen, just try not to tap your feet at the start of the “HEY HEY HEY HEY!!!!” in the chorus, which continues and builds up in to such a catchy song you’ll still be singing after the end of the album.
Future Bound is back to the jumping about pop that wouldn’t be strange to find in a late 80s / early 90s disco. Featuring vocals from the second lead singer from Attic Lights (which we normally don’t favour) who has previously sung occasional singles from their debut. The song is so funky you can’t help but dance to it, cue the embarrassing dancing now please! Love the chorus too, the backing from the “way back, way back” and the “wrong track wrong track” just add to the pop feel of the track, just such a cheery, and dare we say Summer sounding, track instantly to put you in a positive mood! Despite the song actually being about leaving someone/something behind and starting a new, the positiveness of the song really shines an awesome light on the situation
Breathe For Me
Breathe For Me also features on the EP version of the single Say You Love Me, but definitely worth the position on the album. Whilst some of the verses take some time to begin and kick in the song makes up for it in the build up and lyrics. The song is seemingly about how someone is offering support for someone, “if you need it more, just breathe for me”, I’m here for you. As the song progresses the chorus expands to a statement “when the colour goes, better close our eyes”, almost stating if things begin to not be as bright as they could be, you’ve always got support. The song also features the grungy sounding guitar backing found on ‘Say You Love Me’, likely why it featured on some single EPs, and is yet another highlight of the album. A great start.
Stay Before You Leave
Stay Before You Leave keeps up the cheerful mood of the album with an almost 60s style, which does occasionally sound forced, especially in the two-sided chorus style, a song you’d almost expect to hear on Heartbeat (*). The song talks of a happy relationship and a positive day spent with a lover, and not wanting the experience to end, “My heart has no more beats to give…” continuing on to state “…why don’t you stay before you leave”, a play on words saying why can’t you just be here forever! But, in true Attic Lights style, they manage to say this and keep the mood right up there, the forced sound thought makes this not one of our favs, but still a catchy number.
Now I know what you’re thinking, why is this song named after a famous painting … well dunno, but let’s listen not judge. The song delivers a more darker mood to the album about a character losing interest in something, likely a person, as whilst things feel like a Mona Lisa where their eyes are smiling, but can’t stay looking forever, kind of saying things are good, but times really reached it’s limit and “I can’t keep hanging around”. The middle 8 of the song confirms the song is singing about a relationship that stopped working, even though things seemed alright. I wouldn’t say it’s a sad song, more of a ballad, definitely a grower, it takes a lot to sing about this subject and still keep the song going well.
Don’t You is set to be the second single from the album, personally we don’t know why, but fair enough. Personally this is the weakest song from the album. In a similar way that ‘Stay Before You Leave’ sounded rather forced, Don’t You just sounds really plain and flat. The chorus is really cheap and the vocals in the verses aren’t that great either. This is an instant skip for us.
Hit and Miss
Hit and Miss kicks off with such a rift that sounds so similar to London Calling by The Clash at the beginning we thought we were listening to that at first … but not. This song is pure cheese in the chorus, “She’s a hit, she’s a miss, with a cruel cruel heart”, I mean just reading that shows you how much it is! Yet, at the same time, the remaining guilty pleasure in me kinda likes it, it’s not a bad song, but the Summer feel of the song (especially at this time of year) leaves me still singing along to it, but overall it’s just an OK song.
Lock Me Out
Lock Me Out is the sad song from the album, it’s hard to tell what the song is actually talking about it, but more of a diary of everything that someone’s done wrong in their life, almost a rant of everything they wished they didn’t do leading to the chorus “Lock me out, send me out, course I’ll cry, try and stay…”. The song though, is actually beautiful, and after a few listens it really grows on you, and the high pitch harmonies are just beautiful. We love it, from the start, the guitar break rift near the end to the final chorus.
If their was a song to follow Lock Me Out and get you rocking your socks off afterwards, Orbison is that song. We’re not quite sure why the title is Orbison, but the song is basically the albums rock song. From the guitar rift sliding through the entire song to the simple chorus you can’t not chant to “I’m a man on fire tonight ….”. Whilst the song doesn’t serve much purpose lyrically or sonically, it’s the song you listen to just to sing to and bop your head to, and Orbison is one of our favourites for that simple reason!
We didn’t know what to think of Gabrielle when we first heard it, the piano driven song features many countries quoted and questions all over the place, but it’s a great ballad to finish the album off. The bumping beat to the song and the sound that comes out of it is really a good sound. As the song progresses it becomes apparent that the song talks of a character who someone hasn’t seen in years who has been years gone by separate from the character and who has reunited and talking of their past to present adventures. The subtle chorus “Did you see, Africa in the morning, or did you stay right where you were?”, acts as a metaphor to did you achieve everything you wished, or did you simply take everything in it’s stride and we love how it’s put. The song ends the album with such a nice sound we can’t get enough … where’s that repeat button.
Super De Luxe is a strong follow up to Attic Lights’ debut album ‘Friday Night Lights’, which was based around simple pop and sprawling melodies, the band have moved on from that and created a true pop album that whilst does have it’s highs and occasional lows, definitely makes up for it in the highs. We do wish the 10 track number was more, even just to 12, and the choice of Don’t You even being on the album, never mind second single, seems rather strange. Overall, Super De Luxe offers something Attic Lights never fail on, an upbeat pop album you’ll always come back to for that cheer up moment and that you can’t deny
- A great follow up, sprawling true pop and upbeat songs with that hint of rock in their, although some tracks we wish were left out, without being specific on which ones, ‘Don’t Do’ really is their ‘Hit and Miss’.