Departure Lounge Too Late To Die Young

Sometimes there’s nothing like that sweetness that comes with the bitterest pill of good, solid melancholia, and here it’s dosed up by these Nashville (sometimes Brighton) residents with their sophomore release, Too Late To Die Young. Complex and multi-layered, yet never losing its pop sensibility, the Anglo-influenced emoting never grows sappy, mainly because there’s so much going on in the ditties that you never have time to dwell on the sentimentality. The influences and comparisons are numerous; like the Flaming Lips or Mercury Rev, Departure Lounge seems to pride themselves on maintaining tunefulness while simultaneously pushing boundaries with musical inventiveness, and they even verge on Spiritualized heights flown on the backs of soaring orchestras and heaven bound gospel choirs. However, they never take you quite as high as the experimental latter, and they never forget to pull you down in time to for a boot-stomping country hootenanny, or some relaxed, wordless, sparse electro-pulses. It’s all successfully pulled together, spit shined and polished by suave and slick French producer Kid Loco; in less qualified hands this plethora of sounds may have become an incoherent, jumbled mess. Tim Keegan’s vocals are soothing, as are those of guest Lisa O’Neil (of Sing-Sing), yet never in a cheesy way. Much like Morrissey or the Cure (yet unlike recent tear-tugging stars from across the pond, namely Travis and Coldplay), Departure Lounge understands the importance of a dry sense of fun when dealing in the business of melancholy. In all, the opaque, rich melodies caress you, the warm harmonies hug you and you’re never bored while being served up a mopey dish of dourness. (Nettwerk)