With an album written next to Loch Ness, Scottish indie poppers The Little Kicks are back with a new album after a three and a half years. This, their fourth record sees the band not wanting to “sing about heartache anymore” and instead ‘Sing About Something Real’. A track which slowly kicks off the album after the instrumental opener ‘Theme’. A few tracks later, ‘Lets Get Lost Together’ picks up the pace with a catchy chorus and jangly guitars and the elation of lyrics like “never thought I could be this happy”.
Near the second half of the album it becomes clear that it’s ‘nice’ guitar music, often too soft, offering nothing new but still achieving its goal of entertaining ‘Indie disco pop’. It’s reminiscent of The Smiths, but also Coldplay, as if lacking its own exciting identity. With Beatles-y melodies and clever lyrics about an unattainable perfection, ‘Goodbye Enemies, Hello Friends’ is an enjoyable mix of electronic sounds, violins and electric guitars. It’s unarguably good, in fact other songs, like ‘Don’t Get Mad, Get Even’, are brilliant, but it feels as if their personality is hidden too far behind its pleasing poppier compromise.
The ethereal ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ would have made the perfect closer if not for ‘Before We Were Friends’. The former, an album highlight, adopts a minimal piano based style and the most emotion on the record. The latter, embraces the groups electronic side, slowly building to an anthemic climax.