Watching a movie like Darren Aronofsky’s Pi – a brilliant black and white film about a mathematician attempting to find pattern in the stock market, and further, a pattern for the universe – it’s easy to think about just how significant patterns are. More specifically, and also relating to the film, how spirals and cycles come into everyday life. The recent cycle: I am once again diving back into a hard love of indiepop and twee. And the latest album by The Lodger simply adds fuel to the fire.
It’s no wonder, as the band’s influences pull from many groups that have either influenced modern indiepop or were part of the twee movement: The Go Betweens, Aztec Camera, The Wedding Present… you get the picture. Add to that the cool surprise return of Slumberland Records, who you may recall was once associated with such names as the Velocity Girl and The Swirlies. (The label is back, also releasing the new Sarandon… stay tuned.)
Life Is Sweet is packed with beautiful pop melodies and is the group’s sophomore release. First single “The Good Old Days” is a super catchy English pop tune with a lovable melody and massive pop hooks. It’s easy to hear that band front-man Ben Siddall is a bit of a guitar pop genius, one with thorough knowledge of the English pop tune.
The trio goes above and beyond, picking up some fairly unique instruments for indie-pop, like the 12-string guitar and lap steel. Others are more standard: your simple six-string acoustic and violin. Ubeat tunes like “My Finest Hour” and “The Conversation” will make you fall in love with the group. Even the softer sides of The Lodger in “Honey” maintain super catchy hooks. For fans of traditional Engish-based indiepop, I can see this ending up on several year’s-end best-of lists.
This review was originally published May 20, 2008 on the old version of FensePost.
The Lodger: The Good Old Days [mp3]
[audio:090301_the_lodger_-_the_good_old_days.mp3|titles=The Good Old Days|artists=The Lodger]
Slumberland [CD, 2008]
1. My Finest Hour
2. The Good Old Days
3. Falling Down
5. The Conversaion
6. A Hero’s Welcome
7. A Year Since last Summer
8. An Unwelcome Guest
9. Running Low
10. Nothing Left (To Say)
11. Famous Last Words