Heavily criticised by the press but a winner with their fans British Indie-rock band, The Kooks, returned this Friday with the release of their fourth album ‘Let Go Sunshine’. The four-piece band from Brighton brought back the Brit-Pop dream with guitar-driven pop singalongs after a four-year break since their last album, ‘Listen’.
The Kooks came to the music scene back in 2006 alongside other British guitar band favourites, Arctic Monkeys. Their debut album ‘Inside Out / Inside In’became a four-time platinum record in the UK which yielded six Top 40 singles including ‘Naïve’ and ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’, claiming them more sales than Arctic Monkeys debut. They may have experienced a tough ride amongst critics but it’s clear to see that they’re still keeping the Brit-pop spirit alive. In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, the bands frontman Luke Pritchard stated, “were not loved by the press, and we’re not an awards band” claiming themselves as an ‘anomaly’. But if one thing is for certain, the band definitely know how to make a good record.
Although it may have seemed that they completely disappeared from the music scene, the band secretly worked behind the scenes on making what critics claim as the best Kooks record to date. Working in LA the band followed on Listen’s computer-generated samples and loops ‘til the band had an epiphany. In a time where the Brit-pop scene is dying out, the band decided that they needed to go back to creating the album all by themselves. Pritchard told Metro.com that the record was starting to become more ‘cinematic and soundscape stuff’and they wanted to ‘define what The Kooks is’. Pritchard stated that the album as ‘too wanky’ and ‘almost like another project’, so moving away from the generated album and scrapping it seemed the right thing to do.
The 16-track album created a record that formed a journey. With song writing influences clearly coming from the relationship that bloomed half way through the creation of the album between Luke Pritchard and fiancé Ellie Rose, each song was designed to have its ‘own little world’. The band wanted the album to be ‘eclectic’ and that’s certainly what’s been achieved. One of the most significant tracks of the record, Honey Bee, stands as an ode to Pritchard’s late father who passed away when the frontman was young. Pritchard tells Belfast Telegraph, “a big reason why I do music is my dad. I have all his records and his guitar”. The track was originally written by his father of which the recording of the track from the 1970s was sent by Pritchard’s sister to him during the recording of the album. Pritchard’s brother asked for him to create an acoustic recording of the track of which was played to the rest of the band who thought the lead singer had written the track himself. It then went on to become a track of meaning when the band’s sound technicians lifted his father’s vocals from the original recording and paired them with Pritchard’s vocals turning the track into a duet. With the paired joined on the track Pritchard states that the track “keeps him alive, in a non-scary way”.
With a 12-year long career in the industry, you could claim the band are old timers at it now. But with an album that realistically has no track on it that disappoints, The Kooks are still in business and they’re certainly here to stay.
You can catch The Kooks new album on all music platforms now.