Gaz Coombes’ third solo album since shedding the skin of Supergrass back in 2010 marks the completion of his transformation from mutton-chopped 90s Britpopper to progressive multi-instrumentalist.
The chops are still there, but guitars are mostly substituted for pianos, synths and Krautrock style beats, resulting in a beautifully textured album that bears little resemblance to his former band’s sound. This is most definitely a good thing, as Coombes clearly has much more to offer than the fun-yet-limited output of his old band.
Now a 40-something father of two, the album deals with themes of masculinity, death, responsibility, politics and the odd moment of general existential panic – best seen on the Thom Yorke-esque “Vanishing Act”.
There are other influences too – Frank Ocean’s “Blonde” reportedly was an inspiration for the more high-tech songwriting and recording process, but there is also a hint of U2, Radiohead and recent Editors material on close inspection.
Lead single “Deep Pockets” contains a pinch of all of those, as does the groovy “Walk The Walk”, but it’s the opening title track unfurling itself into gorgeous dazzling synths and falsetto choruses that impresses most.
Like this? Try these:
Radiohead In Rainbows
Warm, summery vibes from Oxford’s finest.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Who Built The Moon?
Gallagher snr. goes off-book.
Editors In This Light and On This Evening
Experimental synth pop on album #3.
Gaz Coombes | World’s Strongest Man