18 Aug 2014

Childhood / Lacuna (album review)

Childhoods debut album 'Lacuna' is everything a band could hope for from a debut album. it contains their strongest and most loved singles with a range of new tracks to entice the listener and to capture their imagination.

Opening track Blue Velvet is one of the very first singles released by Childhood, and it still remains one of their best. containing a catchy chorus backed up with clever verses and a calming bridge, this song sets the tone of 'Lacuna' perfectly. Ben's vocals sound soft as silk layered over the combination of the rest of the band's musical talents and it's definitely a song for the summer playlist. The second track is one that shows off Childhood's ability to write a bloody good melody, as it's been stuck in my head since I first heard it. You Could Be Different is catchy in every way. The opening lyrics of the pre-chorus "get away/did you see me smile" are warbled over a sassy bass strum before throwing the listener into a brilliant chorus which will stay in your head for weeks on end. a fantastic second track which only builds up the expectations for the remaining songs on the album.

Track three is one of the newer singles, and it's a fantastic release. As I Am starts with a calm and relaxed opening, with it sounding like the perfect soundtrack to summers day once again, before building and building to the chorus; the driving force of the entire track. It's catchy, upbeat, and although Ben's voice sounds velvety, he sings with unfaltering conviction. One of my favourite tracks, and easily one of the best singles released from Lacuna.

The next track, Right Beneath Me sounds not too dissimilar to a Mac Demarco track. Mac's music has been described as 'jangle-pop which would otherwise fade into the background if it not for an out of place chord here and there,' and I think that description sums up the first sounds of this track perfectly. It's one of the more calm songs on the album, and as the lyrics are whispered over a breezy melody, the song builds up to the chorus where the singing reaches a beautiful falsetto and the music matches it. This moves on into track four which is another one of the singles released from this album. Falls Away is up there with my favourite songs on Lacuna and it channels the chilled vibes from the previous track while restarting the dancey summer melodies. This track is the perfect indie song, and I absolutely adore it.

Sweeter Preacher is a combination of clever lyrics all warbled over surfy melodies which balance breezy indie pop with shoegazey influences to create one hell of a bittersweet melancholic sound. All this is backed up with repeated 'ooh's' from the band. Getting slightly more upbeat from the previous two songs, this track really shows off Childhood's musical talents with the guitar playing by Leo Dobsen being especially fantastic. 

Tides brings back the Mac Demarco sound as it fits into the more relaxed vibe which half this album sounds like. Probably my least favourite track, but still not a bad song. However, the next track is my absolute favourite track (and video) that Childhood have ever done. Solemn Skies is up there with my top 10 favourite songs of the last 12 months and I think it's just brilliant. The lyrics, the music, the dancing in the video and the song as a whole just makes you want to get up and dance and sing along. It sounds phenomenal in the height of summer and even better live. 100% shows off everything that Childhood have to offer and if you don't usually listen to Childhood, listen to Solemn Skies and you'll be converted to a fan. Utterly brilliant.

The next two songs; Chilliad and Pay For Cool are two very strong album fillers, which both display different elements of Childhood's massive musical diversity. Chilliad brings back that uber chilled vibe (it's literally in the name) and calms the tone of the album down, before Pay For Cool with it's quick drum beats, bouncy chords and fast lyrics get you going again. A terrific progression between two great songs. 

Final song When You Rise combines a usually absent rockier element with their signature surf/indie vibes to create a catchy track with dirty riffs. Seemingly more about the music in this song, When You Rise is almost five minutes of showing off this bands incredible ability to create a bloody good song and to end a debut album in the most badass way. Still dancey, still very Childhood, just a little darker and dirtier. 

Overall, this album is up there with my favourite albums of 2014. It's an essential summer album for anyone and everyone, and after having the pleasure of seeing a large portion of it live, I look forward to the next couple of times. This band will go far, so snap up their debut while you can. Well done to the Brixton boys, an album to certainly be proud of.

Rating: 17/20

(Written by Poppy Marriott)