Team Clermont Artist Of The Week: The Lodger!

Resurgent indie-pop label Slumberland Records (Velocity Girl, The Swirlies, Hood, and many, many more) is pleased to bring Leeds pop dynamos The Lodger‘s highly anticipated second album, Life Is Sweet, to American fans of ringing, catchy English pop.  Drawing on influences like the Go-Betweens and Orange Juice, Life Is Sweet (driven by amazing first single “The Good Old Days”) saw release this May!

Since forming in 2004, The Lodger have thrilled informed pop lovers with their special brand of classic English guitar pop. Over a string of four singles and culminating in their brilliant debut album, Grown-Ups, the band has gone from strength to strength, developing a polished, literate sound that shows a keen interest in critical guitar pop touchstones like The Go-Betweens, Aztec Camera and Orange Juice but is still planted firmly in today.

Gathering up and re-recording a slew of their singles, Grown-Ups turned a lot of heads when released in June 2007. Garnering comparisons to heavyweights like The Housemartins, The Smiths and The Wedding Present, it displayed a band steeped in pop history, especially the classicist guitar pop so beloved of English bands. Band leader Ben Siddall’s songs are elegant gems of melodic construction; catchy, sure, but also full of clever turns of phrase and rhythmic hooks that add depth and elevate them into the realm of the truly special. Tunes like “Let Her Go” and “Simply Left Behind” are destined to enter the canon of classic 3 minute pop right alongside The Lodger’s heroes.

And now we have Life Is Sweet, their brand new album. As great
as Grown-Ups is, Life Is Sweet ups the ante even further. Conceived of as a “proper” album rather just a bunch of songs, Ben, bassist Joe Margetts and drummer Bruce Renshaw have created what could be one of the top albums of 2008, and certainly a great album in the long tradition of UK guitar pop. More textural and varied that its predecessor, Life Is Sweet is still filled with gorgeous melodies and some of the catchiest tunes you’ll ever have stuck in your ear, but it also is deeper and more thoughtful, full of emotional peaks and valleys. Rather than just chip in with an album of “more of the same,” the band has paid extra attention to the arrangements, with judicious use of 12-string and acoustic guitars, lap steel and violin adding crucial detail and depth to the
tunes.

And what about the songs? These are easily the strongest batch of Lodger tunes yet. Opener “My Finest Hour” is an upbeat charmer that reminds one of The Pale Fountains, setting a wistful tone for the rest of the album. First single “The Good Old Days” is pure
Sound of Young Scotland energy; with it’s scratchy riff, driving drums, sing-along chorus and bouncing bass it’s bound to fill dancefloors for years to come. “Honey” is a beautiful country-tinged lament, setting the table for “The Conversation,” whose tough verses set the listener up for the chorus’ surprising melodic burst. “A Year Since Last Summer” is pure strummy pleasure, a two minute tribute to the genius of The Housemartins.

And so it goes – superb tune after superb tune, each one distinct from the others but taken together building Life Is Sweet into an assured example of the pop songwriter’s and band’s craft. It’s a true classic, a brilliantly written, produced and sequenced album that reveals new facets and produces new favorites with each listening.


Previous press for The Lodger:

Top 100 Editor’s Picks of 2007 – amazon.com

Top 97 of 2007 – woxy.com

Top 20 Albums of 2007 – Clickmusic

“Full of glittering gems, Grown-Ups is proof that the best things come in small packages. You won’t hear a better album this year, we promise you that.” – This Is Fake DIY

“A promising debut indeed, and worth the wait – it’s definitely time to treat yourself to a good Lodgering.” – Maps

“Grown-Ups is an album full of classy indie-pop numbers set against wistful and occasionally biting lyrical content. With this release The Lodger certainly aren’t going to be moving out anytime soon. (4/5)” – Leeds Music Scene

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *