Thursday, 20 November 2014

Album review: Unravelling by We Were Promised Jetpacks

It was a lazy afternoon, staring out of the window had been perfected, the silence echoed around the glass walled room. Carefully, I pulled the laptop from the shelf and typed in amazon, todays silence (although usually welcomed) only highlighted the fact that I needed some sound other than my breathing and the cats yawning to fill this room.

I looked up latest releases to see if anything grabbed my attention and that’s when I saw it, ‘Unravelling’ by Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks (WWPJ). I had heard a few tracks already via the contentious Spotify and mentally marked it as ‘one to buy’, so I took my own advice and bought it. I have a record player and opted for the Vinyl, I prefer the sound, especially when at home listening to music for pleasure. MP3s are great for on the go or at work but I was seeking *ahem* aural pleasure.
WWPJ were formed in 2003, and released their first album six years later in 2009 with the record label Fat Cat Records, who they are still signed to and who this album was produced by.

The day of its arrival my three nieces were visiting, aged 3, 5 and 8, and I wasn’t sure how they would react, indie rock is not a genre of music that they are particularly exposed to, and even though Wikipedia also had it down as post-punk revival, I knew they would be a hard sell. I was surprised when they didn’t say, ‘can we change the music?’ or ‘can you turn this off?’ which is saying something.

They helped unwrap the album, and our first response was ‘It makes your eyes funny!’ Have a look for yourself, it’s one of those optical illusions, whereby you can see an image (the outline of one) in the lines as they change direction, I’m not sure if it was designed to occupy children but it did and me too. After a while, it had to go away as I had started to hallucinate that I was being surrounded by an army of bees.

Inside the cover is the album in the album sleeve – which also had optical illusions – and a card with a download code so you can take the music wherever you go on a mobile device, and that way you aren’t losing out by buying vinyl which is more expensive depending on when you buy them. This was a recent release (October) and so was pricey but well worth it, as I discovered after a few more listens.

 Here is a YouTube video of the track ‘I keep it composed’.

These aren’t a band I am ever likely to get an interview with – so I have interviewed myself!

Well, hello there Kate, you look as lovely as usual. *smile* Can I just ask you a few questions about the album ‘Unravelling’ by WWJP? *raise eyebrows in anticipation*
Why of course! I would love to.

They say things come in threes, so tell me, what are your three favourite tracks from the album?
‘Safety in Numbers’, ‘Bright Minds’ and ‘Disconnecting’.

Any other tracks that stand out?
Sure, they have an instrumental track on the album called ‘Peace of Mind’ which I wasn’t expecting and its also six and a half minutes long.

If you had to pick a track to see performed ‘Live’ which would that be?
If none of my favourite mentioned above then I think I would choose ‘A Part of It’.

Were there any lyrics that you could relate to?
There is a track on the B-side called ‘Night Terror’ and although I don’t have those, I often can’t sleep ‘and I toss and I turn and I toss and I turn’. I am sure other lyrics from other songs are relatable but when I was listening to this those are the lyrics that made me think about not sleeping.

Did you do much research for this review?
Erm…other than listening? No. I did sort of google one of the tracks and another blog came up which  reviews the album much better than me, they use long words and everything! The blog is Static + Distance and I might explore that after this interview.

Anything you would like to add?
No, not really, only that both sides of the album had the slowest most low tempo tracks on last and I think for the B-side (and last track) I would have preferred to go out with a bang! But I think I’ll get over it.

Have you listened to the album? What did you think? Maybe you have a recommendation for my next one?