Upon first listen to the opening track of You Me At Six’s new album, it’s easy to see its potential for polarising opinion. The euphoric sheen of their last record ‘Cavalier Youth’ has been swapped for something altogether darker, groovier, and it sounds like nothing they’ve ever dared to try before. Yet, by the end of ‘Night People’s succinct ten tracks, it’s clear they’ve navigated their new musical direction very well.
Confident and self-assured, their fifth album is more about feeling than the pop-rock riffs and sugary highs of their previous records, and their live performance on the record - recorded in Nashville with Jacquire King, don’tchaknow - adds a depth they’ve never quite managed to nail before.
From the charged chorus of ‘Swear’ to the spine-tingly crescendo of album closer ‘Give’ (a song which will undoubtedly become known as one of their finest), their new effort is brilliantly multi-faceted while still managing to feel raw and organic. Squeals of feedback make for the perfect introduction to ‘Plus One’ – a driving force of a second track – while ‘Make Your Move’ sees frontman Josh Franceschi’s vocals pushed to their limits with satisfying effect.
A little bit cocky at times, sure, but with the tightness to back it up, ‘Night People’ feels like the band’s most natural and accomplished step so far. In fact, it’s a You Me At Six most people will never have seen before.