by tom johnson
“Put your hand in mine to make this beautiful…”
…so sing The School during the glowing embers of Wasting Away and Wondering, their seriously special new full-length effort, and such a simple proclamation acts as the uncomplicated solution to really getting this record. By which we mean that to take a single step inside the world they’ve created here is to be instantly smitten.
Rarely straying away from it’s gleaming blueprint of sun-soaked, romanticised indie-pop, the album is a showcase in all that the Cardiff eight-piece excel at. The guitars shimmer and sway, the lead vocals billow and soothe and captivate and simmer and beat as the robust heart in the centre of it all, straying between lovelorn moments of reflection and sentimental bouts of exhilaration.
‘Love Is Anywhere You Find It’ is gloriously opulent, as if most of the first side, a romanticised glimpse at yesteryear which comes to life thanks to perfectly lilting addition of brass. ‘Til You Belong To Me’ is similarly radiant, as is the triumph title-track, however it’s the slight aberrations that bring the record to life and bring a much-needed sense of balance to the sensory overload the so often produce. ”Don’t Worry Baby…’ is a string-laden waltz through more refined pastures, while the burned-out moodiness of ‘He’s Gonna Break Your Heart One Day’ is a captivating deviation in to darker territories that is instantly compelling.
Perhaps the album that this summer has been crying out for all along, Wasting Away and Wondering is an effortlessly pretty, expertly crafted bout of pop music that, at its peak, feels completely unbreakable – and we’re very pleased to bring you an exclusive full stream of the album ahead of its September 4th release via Elefant Records.
Wasting Away and Wondering is released on September 4th.
Available at your local record shop and via Elefant here