Listening to Baby Strange’s second album, it’s easy to think they woke up one day, misread the year on their calendar and thought it was 2006. Listen closer, however, and it becomes clear that lyrically, ’World Below’ is deeply grounded in the issues of 2022, with strong things to say about the widening trench between classes, mental health crises and the staggering rise in food bank use. There’s a real cleverness about the contrast between these very modern themes and their throwback sound, a sparklier take on garage-flecked indie that proves wildly catchy. The initial moody grooves of the title track blossom into a big, glistening chorus while the breezy ‘Beating In Time’ flexes its muscles with a jaunty guitar line and a playful hook that would have Ricky Wilson green with envy. There’s a real sense of eclecticism too: the distantly Depeche Mode-influenced ‘When It Calls’ brings a rippling guitar chorus into harmony with fuzzy verses, while the delicately controlled chaos of ‘I Feel So Cold But It’s Warm Outside’, on paper, could well sound like a whole different band, but somehow, they still feel like they belong on the same record. The Glasgow trio have executed this one with style.
Records & Merch
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