Late September is the debut album from Matt Schwartz and Joel Edwards although both have made names for themselves within the music industry. The most notable notch on the duo’s belts is producer Matt’s co-writing credits on Massive Attack‘s Dissolved Girl, made famous with a little bit of help from Adidas and The Matrix.
We’re softly introduced to the pensive minds of Deepest Blue with Be Still My Heart, a soothing Groove Armada-like song. It’s the type of track that will lead you into a deep sleep. Can’t Believe is more like the Deepest Blue that we know from their singles with a typical build-up to a heavy chorus. The lyrics aren’t inspired but Joel Edward’s sharp vocals lead straight into their latest single Is It A Sin.
Late September slowly but surely veers you into a world of radio friendly summery music, which isn’t surprising given that the group’s mission statement is “to make fun, uplifting tracks…contemporary pop”. This is all encapsulated in Give It Away, which we all know, and however much you want to deny, like.
That’s the challenge facing marketable acts who are seeking credibility; they have got to produce something appealing to the masses, which demand non-invasive music. This is the vibe that emanates from Shooting Star (n.b. not a trace of Happy Hardcore here). Joel’s gruff voice blends perfectly with the backing of a strings arrangement, no doubt inspired by Matt Schwartz and his skills as a classical violinist.
The album’s title track is also the clear stand out. With an almost angelic opening juxtaposed with a hint of scratching and a dominant acoustic guitar, the peaceful feeling disguises the meaning behind Late September. It’s a cry to an ex, and imagined or real, there’s a distinct image of low-key emotion mixed with autumnal feeling and the dawn of the inevitable cold winter.
Deepest Blue brings back the memories of Summer 2003 when this song charted at a highly respectable number seven. The duo’s first track is the clearest reason why they’re signed to Ministry of Sound albeit in the subdivision that is Open, with its dance-orientated pop. It’s a stark contrast to Say Goodbye and the acoustic bias that is errs to. This has very little in common with Spread A Little Love except for the consistent and continuous vocals. It’s a slow but pounding way to end Late September.
Deepest Blue can only be labelled under the umbrella of pop but that hides the versatility displayed on Late September. It isn’t an earth-shattering album, but that’s not what you’d expect from them, Late September is perfect for something just to chill to.