The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future

The new Los Campesinos! single. And I'm a little bit....hmm.

They are definitely channeling the We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed skuzzy, post-rock tinged sound, 'Heart Swells/Pacific Daylight Time' in particular. Pitchfork are right to identify that song as the album's centre-piece. In an interview with them, Gareth says it is the band's best song so far.

I don't know about that. But it sure is a standout. The LC! staple of well-worded misery scraped over jaunty tunes is inverted. 'Heart Swells' is snail-paced and draped in howling mist, and the distorted despondent lyrics are Gareth at his most direct. And then there's the morph into 'Pacific Daylight Time''s warm folky acoustic guitar, and Gareth coming out for the first time as earnestly, joyously in love. But the howls and screeches return, and whatever hope and sunshine there was is brutally cut short.

That song was arty and experimental, nothing like what the band had done before. 'The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future' takes some of those elements, but uses them to build a stadium rock song. The verses follow the quiet thump of 'Heart Swells', with Gareth's clever mumble riding above it. That's all great, particularly the build towards the chorus, where you get Brand New-esque screaming sat up against measured spoken-word.

But then the chorus itself goes all hands-waving singalong. For me that's a bit 'aww really?'. It's not that the sentiment cannot match the occasion. 'A hundred years in perfect symmetry' is a meaningful, powerful line. But dressed up in such finery, I can't feel it as much.


Gareth's voice is very good at communicating emotions. It's not beautiful in any conventional sense, but that doesn't matter, because when he sings, he can make you feel what he is feeling. But I think it only works when it sounds like he is speaking directly to you -- as if he is reading a letter, or a final, fatal livejournal entry. In 'The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future' he sounds like is is trying to address everyone. His voice becomes one of many, and the passion in it is lost.

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