The Critics: Hello Sadness

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Hello Sadness

Los Campesinos!

Wichita

4 out of 5

This is the first LC! album that isn’t going to instantly make you feel like a toddler on a sugar high. Long time fans might be a little confused at first; where’s the glockenspiel? Why isn’t Gareth shouting about everything? Notwithstanding the chirpy keys on ‘By Your Hand’ this album presents a much more sonically mature Los Camp! that isn’t content simply reusing the same old formula. They’ve added doses of subtlety and nuance to their delivery, without losing any of their delectable charm or relatability. ‘To Tundra’ weaves a majestic musical patchwork that provides a genuinely affective listening experience: this is as far away from the simple delights of ‘You! Me! Dancing!’ as LC! have ever dared to venture.

Lyrically, it’s still business as usual, with Gareth firmly in centre-stage. He messes relationships up, gets his heart broken and even gets puked on by fate. In almost every song he paints himself as a woeful victim, struggling with problems that have only ever befallen his unfortunate self. Though his greatest pain always emanates from the implicit acknowledgement that he’s the maker of his own downfall, and that he’s just like everyone else.

Los Camp! have managed to cultivate a level of maturity, that is largely absent from earlier records, without sacrificing anything or negating previous efforts. Hello Sadness stands comfortably alongside any other LC! release, just another  string to their bow.

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