After three years, English indie rock outfit Bombay Bicycle Club bring a new release – My Big Day. Consisting of Jack Steadman (lead vocals/guitar), Jamie MacColl (guitar), Suren de Suram (drums) and Ed Nash (bass), the band’s sixth album is welcome reassurance of their continuity, as their fifth album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong was a surprise ending to an indefinite hiatus. My Big Day is a sunny side-up addition to their self-described demographic friendly catalogue, carrying on the feel-good fusion of easy listening rock and folk textures which have granted the four-piece indie hero status, and made Bombay Bicycle Club a loved name internationally.
Opener Just A Little More is all swirling grooves with minimal lyricism. The simple repetition of “Just a little more time,” is the focal point of the track, which is comfortable in its pulsing psych-rock pace. I Want To Be Your Only Pet favours the psychedelic sound that has been introduced, following with a thumping drumroll that shines alongside a striking riff that carries the buzz of a low horn. Rather than being a track that you can simply allow to gently fall into the background, it possesses urgency, intensity, and bouts of vocal experimentation that keep listeners on their toes. As Steadman’s vocals float through a haze, fade into a whisper and return with a blazing profession of “I want to be your only pet,” it’s no wonder I Want To Be Your Only Pet was released as a single from the record. By this point, attention is locked for the softer stylings of third track Sleepless, featuring American singer-songwriter Jay Som. Brought in by a melody almost reminiscent of a carousel tune, it is airy with a floaty entangle of vocals from Som and Steadman, the instrumentation largely built on a lightly brushed acoustic rhythm. It is nicely positioned, steadying the busy nature of I Want To Be Your Only Pet.
Title track My Big Day carries the enthusiasm of an invigorating walk under clear skies with a skippy rhythm, with lyrics that denote a laziness as Steadman admits that his day is dwindling against end-of-summer musings: “It’s my big day/But I’m wasting it away.” The album boasts strong features throughout, some of which are concentrated towards the end of the record to add a touch of something new. A slow ballad with David Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) on Heaven, a pop-fuelled number warmed by R&B star Chaka Khan’s funk-oriented belts on Tekken 2 and an indie rock/synth-pop fusion on Diving with English singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone hold some classic Bombay Bicycle Club flair at their core while appreciating changes in direction. Building into closer Onward, on which an acoustic melody is chased out with a built of driven electronic riffs, the record is one that feels whole.
My Big Day is a record that is different, but fits nicely within Bombay Bicycle Club’s existing discography. Leaning into pop sensibilities while making space for electronica, soft balladry and sludgier rock pockets has worked out cohesively to create an irresistibly propulsive listening experience. Each track finds a way to get your head bopping or shoulders swaying with a jovial feeling and a fresh catchiness that is simply fun at heart, making My Big Day a record fit for regular rotations.