Yeah So is the first album from Slow Club, a cute boy-girl duo (Charles andRebecca) from Sheffield, whose fun live performances have been known tofeature the use of a range of unconventional “instruments” for percussivepurposes (bottle tops, the backs of chairs). Despite all these entertaining antics being invisible when listening to their album,they have nonetheless managed to infuse this recording with a comparableendearingly off-the-wall feel.
Both band members are gifted and agreeable vocalists, and lead vocalduties are shared around throughout the album. Sometimes they harmonise witheach other within one song (Giving Up On Love), and at others they alternate withina track (It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful). Then again there’s just theone or other on ‘lead’ vocal.
This latter set-up is most notably put to use on Sorry About The Doom: arevelatory track towards the end of the album, where the listener is able tofully appreciate just what a glorious singing voice Rebecca possesses.Bags of charm is in evidence, both in the singing voices and also in thekind of youthful insouciance which the music somehow conveys, particularlyon the perkier, more upbeat tracks which constitute about half of thealbum.
It is quite surprising, then, when listening to thelyrics, to realise that a great many of the featured songs are based aroundromantic failures and break-ups, from I Was Unconscious, It Was A Dream’s”I let you say ‘I love you’ / When I know I’ll never say it back” to SorryAbout The Doom’s “I agree, you were right to say we’re doomed” to songssimply called There’s No Good Way To Say I’m Leaving You or Giving Up OnLove.
There’s a lot of heartbreak here, lyinghalf-hidden by all the quirk and musical cheer. In other places, thelyrical content is a little more oblique and impressionistic (standout trackand former single Because We’re Dead), or skirting dangerously close to”novelty track” (opener When I Go).
The programming is interesting, in that the order of tracksseems to have been deliberately chosen so that upbeat, quicker songs andslower more downbeat ones alternate nearly the entire way through. On thewhole this works well and avoids the common sag often found in an album’smiddle. Conversely, the largely unnecessary and irritating device ofputting a “hidden” track at the end is less welcome and, indeed, the saidtrack itself – as so often is the way – is not really worth the dead airtime that precedes it.
The often-acoustic, slightly folk- or country-tinged arrangements,coupled with the aforementioned engaging vocals (each offsetting the othermost pleasingly) also work well, and enhance the collection of songs. WhileGiving Up On Love (with its Swinging Sixties pop feel), Because We’re Deadand Sorry About The Doom are unquestionable highlights, there is scarcely atrack here that is anything less than likeable, charming and pleasingly,authentically redolent of the loves, joys and losses of The DatingYears.