Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster

You come crashing in with armfuls of cymbals and cocktail umbrellas and you challenge us not to love you.

Oh Los Campesinos!. You come crashing in with armfuls of cymbals and cocktail umbrellas and you challenge us not to love you. On the first play through of ‘Hold On Now, Youngster’, heartbeats race race race and then dissipate, scatter into slow-pattering disappointment. It ends so quickly. Like a birthday party, like the best years of a life. Hard and fast and gone.

But then there’s the second spin. And the second spin (spinning us, really, not the other way around) is special because it reminds us we can play it as often as it takes to feel it ice-cold on our faces. We can slow the white light frenzy into seven colours, pick out those peals of sweet violin, 8-bit kisses and spitting Welsh poetics. And there is just so much there to appreciate, with every line (that boy sings and girl yells exultantly) deserving a polaroid or a sugar-paper collage. They’re all the little blue biro thought bubbles that surround the broken-hearted, four A-Level indie boy, finding it increasingly difficult to swallow his upset: ‘Knee Deep at ATP’ begins steadily, lip-bitingly, ‘and every sentence that I spoke began and ended in ellip…ses’ and then accelerates, chin-shaking, eyes glittering towards, ‘When our eyes meet, all that I can read is, ‘You’re the b-side”.

All the songs do this. They’re all enormous. We don’t need to tell you about ‘You! Me! Dancing!’: if you didn’t like it you’ll probably hate the album. If you did like it, start making more room in your heart for more songs that are going to jostle about in there, and swell, like ‘We Are All Accelerated Readers’, with guitars and violins doodling around each other to another trademark crescendo: ‘if this sentimental movie marathon has taught us one thing / it’s that the opposite of true love is as follows: REALITY’. Disregard the fact that they’re totally lying here, and that what makes the album so intensely lovable is its reality, both in subject matter and execution. LC!’s songwriting process just seems to work like a camera obscura, taking everything they see and projecting it with accuracy. They take a world of friends falling off couches and cold-eyed festival girls and multi-coloured gel pens and turn them into music that you can throw right back into that world. We all dance to songs about dancing, don’t we?

And that’s totally meta, and one of these song titles is 18 words long, that’s gotta be crazy-pretentious… but come on. It’s Los Campesinos!. It’s not a pretense. They’re not ignorant. They’re not stupid. And. Well. They really are happy.

Tags: Los Campesinos!, Reviews, Album Reviews

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