Ed Wallis started My Sad Captains in 2004 as a university student in London, and the group has maintained a steady output of guitar-led indie-pop over the last decade. Their most recent effort, ‘Don’t Listen To Your Heart‘, whilst by no means revolutionary, is certainly a pleasing little ditty with hummable melodies.
The song’s general timbre is easy on the ear – complimentary guitar parts adorned with tasteful use of modulation combine with dreamy backing vocals lending the entire 2-minute-30-second-affair a wistfully stoned atmosphere. It’s somewhat reminiscent of The Coral’s early output, but with a more delicate vocal delivery replacing James Skelly’s Liverpudlian twang.
However, I cannot write this review without mentioning the song’s fundamental drawbacks. The lyrics are generic to the point of being platitudinal (“You go back to the start/ cause something always changes/ Now there’s a lot of time/ for you to try to make up your mind”), and they are delivered in such a breezy tone of voice that it’s often difficult to distinguish the words at all.
The song lacks much in the way of development, harmonically, dynamically or lyrically. We are presented with a single verse which is repeated three times (with perfunctory minor lyrical alterations) over a meat-and-potatoes IV-V-I-VI chord progression, punctuated by approximately 15 seconds worth of token bridge (which provides little in the way of dynamic or melodic contrast) in between the second and third repetition.
Ultimately, ‘Don’t Listen To Your Heart’ feels like somewhat of a regression for My Sad Captains – the band has released some interesting work in the past, particularly on 2014’s ‘Best of Times’, and their other recent single ‘Everything at the End of Everything’ feels like a much more developed song. I hope they can find the courage to keep moving forward with their music.
‘Don’t Listen To Your Heart’ is taken from the new My Sad Captains album ‘Sun Bridge’, available for pre-orders here.
My Sad Captains’ upcoming tour dates are as follows:
20th October – LONDON – The Victoria
22nd October – MANCHESTER – The Castle
24th October – GLASGOW – The Glad Café
25th October – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club
17th November – BIRMINGHAM – Actress & Bishop
20th November – LONDON – Oslo Hackney
21st November – BRIGHTON – Sticky Mikes Frog Bar