Idlewild, "Interview Music" (Empty Words)
Scottish rock band Idlewild already have one comeback album in their catalog — 2015's "Everything Ever Written" — but four years on, their sparkling "Interview Music" sounds like an even more complete return.
Once hailed for an "unsafe at any speed" enthusiasm, it wasn't long before Idlewild expanded their palette and "Interview Music," their eighth album, adds more tones and hues — some vivid, others pastel.
First single "Dream Variations" has one foot in each world, with glowing lead and background vocals offset by a loud, linear guitar. Two-thirds of the way in, the song breaks down into a psychedelic kaleidoscope, as Roddy Woomble sings his lyrics about dreams as if he's in one. The female vocals on "There's a Place for Everything" are an oasis, while the title track's reverberating piano and instrumental section are out of this world.
"Same Things Twice" reprises the band's galloping style and another dream-like transition blends it into "I Almost Didn't Notice," which is China Crisis-like smooth. Aztec Camera's elegance comes to mind with "You Wear It Secondhand," a tune about nostalgia with a bitter taste, while a horn section, Woomble's exasperation and stellar backing — especially Rod Jones' out-there guitar playing and Colin Newton's drumming — define "Mount Analogue."
The record concludes with "Lake Martinez," as a piano arpeggio, space sounds and musings on "the loneliness of the people all around you" put the song on its own island. It's practically disconnected from the rest of the record, but comfortably so.
There are plenty of sounds and moods to absorb on "Interview Music" and it makes for a refreshing chapter in the Idlewild saga.