The year is 1998. An unknown seventeen year old named Joseph Mount, sits in his bedroom in Devon on an outdated computer; dreaming up the idea of Metronomy. Fast forward fifteen years, three kooky albums full of exhilarated sophistication and a handful of gently crafted EPs later, and Mount and co. are ready to release one of the most anticipated albums of 2014; ‘Love Letters‘.
“You said our love was written in the stars/but I never paid attention to my charts” Mount mournfully hums over the layers of 60’s inspired low-fi pop, which make up ‘I’m Aquarius’. As the first single released from Love Letters, ‘I’m Aquarius’ boasts all of the stimulating quirkiness Metonomy has gained rapid rising reputation for; but we can already see that Mount’s satirical song-writing has matured since 2011’s ‘The English Riviera’.
The modern day Mount slashes his mark of genius across ‘Month Of Sundays’; a miserable tender track, brimming with 60’s chiming backing vocals, while being powered by the prominent wonky bass guitar. ‘Boy Racers’ is also held together by the chirpy bass, but driven this time by a frothy 80’s vibe, making every listen feel like effortlessly flying through a cloudless sky.
The retrospective nostalgia rallies on when the typical, echoing, Metronomy keyboard makes an appearance, accompanied by the radiating synthesiser on ‘Reservoir’. The pulsating keys are accompanied by the remains of Mount’s past “we should never say that we drifted far/yeah we should take a trip to the reservoir”. However, in contrast to being nostalgic, title track ‘Love Letters’, incorporates a wretched, lengthy section of brass before ripping into poppy chords, resembling the bands 2008 track ‘Heartbreaker’. The down-beat funeral march has perhaps been used as a euphemism for what Joseph Mount is really describing on Metronomy’s fourth album; how touring a band can take its toll when missing somebody.
Love Letters flutters over every era of fashionable music; colossal third track ‘Monstrous’ dabbles with an 80’s synth, complimented by the graceful crooning of the analogue keyboard. While on ‘The Most Immaculate Haircut’, the very slight influence of 60’s psychedelia can be heard before ebbing slowly into relaxing wildlife sounds and running water. Only a man as prestigious as Mount could get away with a transition so erratically smooth.
On a whole, ‘Love Letters‘ can barely be faulted. It’s an album highlighting and celebrating the progression from bedroom to world; but still being able to fault the privileges you have been dealt, by peering into the looking glass of life you’re missing out on.