The Dundee indie pop band have released their fourth album and they’ve come a long way since their debut Hats Off To The Buskers, which featured their hit single Same Jeans. However, they’ve clearly grown up a bit and spent a bit of time abroad. After the disappointing performances of their last two albums, The View have come back with an incredibly catchy new release, no doubt thanks to their new label Cooking Vinyl, which is notorious for resurrecting failing artists.
Opening track How Long was also released as a single this week and there’s more than a bit of the swinging 60s in the upbeat track. The track-by-track version of the album, which is available on Spotify, saw frontman Kyle Falconer say of the new single: “It seems lovey dovey but it’s actually about being too possessive”, which puts a bit of a dark twist on the seemingly affectionate lyrics. It will certainly be a hit though, due to its retro flavours and catchy refrain.
The 60s trend continues through the album and makes an appearance in Anfield Row, Bullet and Hole In The Bed. Despite the name, Anfield Row has nothing to do with Liverpool and is in fact, a simple indie track about leaving an area of Dundee. It’s got a little bit of earlier material in it but as the track-by-track says: “It’s a love song about a city, not a girl” and with that in mind it’s in fact, pretty self-explanatory. Bullet alludes to an even earlier period, as the lyrics resemble a James Dean-ism. A slight country tone places it in 1950s rural America but with a festival friendly, repetitive guitar.
AB (We Need Treatment) is also a pop-based track that ends on chants, which is pretty much festival-ready. It’s got an almost Kooks feel to it and is most definitely a summer track. Hole In The Bed takes the Americana theme the furthest with a classic surfer theme in the pop sound. Contrasting the happy backing with the sad subject of missing a lover, Hole In The Bed is a cheeky and fun-loving hit with a hint of reality thrown in.
Cheeky For A Reason is also full of bluesy riffs as seen in Hold On Now and Bunker (Solid Ground). The former could almost be opening credit music with melodic vocals and a funky bass instrumental. It’s the perfect summer track, as is Bunker, which refers to Scottish dialect for kitchen work-top. “But milk turns sour when left on the bunker for days” is a metaphor for a crumbling relationship that was once solid. It’s a clever, novel way of talking about a subject that almost every pop song touches on.
Probably the most epic tracks on the record are The Clock and Lean On My World. Both are chilled out and the latter even flirts with the resonance that Coldplay are famous for. The Clock is in fact a brooding track with a depressing subject matter. However the suspense is present and there’s a sense that the singer is running out of time, whether it’s to make a decision or indeed time in their life. “No fighting, no hiding, my pain is gone” suggests a heartfelt ballad about giving up to the impending end, which the clock represents.
Sour Little Sweetie is a track that is full of Scottish dialect and you will in fact probably need a dictionary to completely understand the words. The track-by-track album explains that it was written as an attempt to inspire young Scottish people to follow their dreams. Kyle explains: “You shouldn’t let people tell you what you can and can’t do”, which is a message everyone should carry with them. In a way, it tells the story of the band and how they got to where they have, in the hope that others will do the same.
My favourite track on the album is Tacky Tattoo, which is an almost acapella hipster ballad, stuck right on the end of the album. It’s dark and a little naughty but all the same, a beautiful song. A story of being unfaithful and regretting it, it’s an interesting take on what could have been a shallow, meaningless song. It’s also very real and the fact it’s a wind-down for the album shows how far The View have grown.
For an album which was described as “Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours done by The Clash” by Kyle himself, it’s not quite that ground-moving. It’s a lot better than their failed previous attempts and everything points to this being their comeback album. An ironic title, seeing as it’s a much more adult sound but there is still plenty of childish playfulness. It’s full of happiness and let’s face it, who doesn’t love indie-pop when you’re sunbathing with a barbecue and a beer?