The Hoosiers - The News From Nowhere
In the world of pop things move very quickly; one day you’re an artist with a number one platinum selling album, the next your second album just about limps into the top ten and the next you’re releasing a third without the backing of a major label. The latter is obviously a risk but one that The Hoosiers are clearly willing to take and, creatively at least, it seems to have paid off. The News From Nowhere sees them return with that old trope of a more mature sound, but this time it has a ring of truth, albeit with sprinkled with the fairy dust that gave them initial success with 2007’s The Trick To Life.
Opening with single ‘Somewhere In The Distance’, the album weaves through stories of self-doubt, boy-bands, busy minds and (the old perennial) death but the cheery vibe disguises how dark the lyrical content gets. A summery, 80s vibe resonates throughout, one which really begins to become noticeable around the 4th or 5th listen. If you need a grower not a shower, come on down - the water's fine.
‘Fidget Brain’ is a piano led ditty in which Irwin Sparkes sings "If only I could get some sleep / If I could put my mind at ease / Finally I’d have some peace". Against the rising bombast it makes for one of the most curious but satisfying tracks. ‘Handsome Girls & Pretty Boys’ feels like a critique on the modern culture of manufactured pop bands, while ‘Rocket Star’ ramps up the 80s feel to 11, with the entire band getting a chance to show off their musical chops. New keyboardist Sam Swallow gets a chance to shine, taking vocals for ‘Nathan’s Loft’, a song about someone called Nathan… well, dying.
It must be difficult for any band to admit that they’re past their commercial success peak but, pleasingly, The Hoosiers have just come out with a record that plays to their strengths. Headline: The News From Nowhere is a surprisingly satisfying effort from an act most will have either written off, or indeed, forgotten already. More power to 'em.