ALBUM REVIEW: Lewis Del Mar – ‘Lewis Del Mar’

Lewis Del Mar deliver indie pop…with a punch. Their upcoming debut album ‘Lewis Del Mar’, released 7th October, following on from the success of their ‘Loud(y)’ EP, doesn’t shy away from exploring urban landscapes; combining mellow acoustics with flashes of electric guitar, stick-slapping drum beats and footage from the very streets around us.

It’s the creation of two lifelong friends Danny Miller and Max Harwood, the 10-track album ‘Lewis Del Mar’ has a camera-like quality, capturing the pressures we associate with modern living.

The first track Such Small Scenes opens with a noise-pop jumble, fades into mellow acoustics before being topped up by a determined drumbeat. Perhaps this reflects the episodic, ever-changing rhythms of life, especially in the city – mirrored by the longer tracks with varying intensity such as Tap Water Drinking and Live That Long.

We also hear more of the city, as track 14 Faces plunges us into an urban scenario through intriguing lyrics lingering over a girl ‘hanging half her body out the car window.’ Followed by a tinny drum rhythm which is a key feature in a number of tracks on the album, this keeps momentum going whilst still giving room and encouraging the listener to tune into other aspects of the music. An intelligent feature; as if the tracks are training us to listen more closely to the world around us.

14 Faces for example, combines the distinct drums with plucky guitar, before fading into an acoustic reflection, along with recorded voices – signifying this a reflection which is truly human. It’s a refreshing change from breezy indie-pop; this isn’t ‘easy listening’, but ‘difficult’ isn’t the right word either. Instead, the listener is witness to life in all its impressive fluctuations.

Take the already much-loved Malt Liquor which has a kind of anthemic quality, a slowly growing surge of sound with a growing bass, which bursts into sudden guitar input. It certainly shows how rapidly moods can shift; from initial reflection (again with the clever use of real-life recordings) to a kind of nervous agitation – though this does feel a bit uneasy, the guitar almost grating. Lyrics suggest that this is intentional however, ‘seems we almost go insane’ and the track is pulled back thanks to their snappy use of the snare drum. As I said, it’s a staple of their songs and I very much like it.

Live That Long closes the album with an extended but well-sustained acoustic-led reflection, featuring the lyrics ‘I won’t live that long / but it don’t feel wrong’ – a bit bittersweet perhaps – but truly fitting for an album looking at life as a series of experiences, snapshots, short bursts. Try it out for yourself.

Lewis Del Mar’s self-titled debut album is released on 7th October. Pre-order a copy here.

Lewis Del Mar will play the following UK dates in November:

21st November – Dingwalls, London
22nd November – Deaf Institute, Manchester

For more on Lewis Del Mar, head to their Website.

Emily Oldfield
Lover of music, poetry and Manchester.

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