Everyone who’s ever listened to Bombay Bicycle Club knew that if they ever did an acoustic album it would be pretty beautiful. Those judgements appear to have proved correct with the release of BBC’s latest acoustic album Flaws – released this week.
With the distorted electric guitars having been replaced by acoustic guitars, more reflection of Jack Steadman’s lyrics is allowed, shedding new light on older track ‘Dust on the Ground’ from their debut I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose and helping listeners form a deeply rooted love with new tracks such as ‘Jewel’ and recent single ‘Ivy & Gold’ which provide glistening lyrics.
The stripped back songs also remind listeners that BBC are never trying to be anyone else but themselves and that their music is genre defying; they don’t need electric guitars to make their music work. Their lyrics are pure and honest as Steadman pours out thoughts and feelings that are close to his heart like drunken word vomit in his unique, deep, signature voice.
The fine texture of the music permits listeners to hear every single stringed instrument as clear as crystal, each of them intertwining blissfully in a beautifully, complimenting mélange as well as showcasing the bands true musical potential. In ‘Fairytale Lullaby’ BBC present their own version of the classic John Martyn song, Steadman’s voice carrying it well and introducing a new audience to the old song.
Some may interpret Bombay Bicycle Club doing an acoustic album as them going soft and trying to follow in the successful footsteps of Mumford & Sons, but I see it as a brave, bold and interesting change on their behalf that permits listeners an even deeper insight into Jack Steadman’s lyrics and feelings – as well as the musical talent of the band and how the life of their songs is established before being made into intense works of art with an indie-rock twist.
If I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose yanked at your heart strings, just imagine the impact that this album will have on them; it may even snap them.
Flaws is out now on Island Records. You can stream the video for the band’s fabulous cover of Jonna Newsom track ‘Swansea’ below.