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10 years and five albums in, Australian indie rock royalty British India recently came to a crossroads. After a decade, the Melbourne quartet faced every band’s worst nightmare: how to avoid seeming complacent and a tad predictable.
So, rather than coasting on the success of their acclaimed catalogue (most recently their 2015 LP Nothing Touches Me), British India experimented with new sounds and, for the first time, sought an external producer, recruiting the talents of Holy Holy’s Oscar Dawson for the task. The final product of this revelation is their sixth and latest album Forgetting The Future.
Spanning 10 tracks that encapsulate British India’s high-tempo indie rock sound in a new light, the record kicks off with ‘Precious’. Also the first single off the record, it showboats an infectious hook and chorus that have already landed it plenty of radio play.
But it’s ‘Midnight Homie (My Best Friends)’ that is about to become your squad’s new anthem. If you see British India on their upcoming tour this summer and this song doesn’t have you swaying in a drunken embrace with your best mates, then I’m sorry but you need better friends. Opening with otherworldly-sounding synths and echoing howls, the song soon erupts into a frantic guitar riff before frontman Declan Melia repeatedly yells: “My friends are better than your best friends!”
Meanwhile, ‘My Love’ adopts The Cure or The Smiths’ strategy of accompanying your laments of heartbreak and hopelessness with a catchy indie pop beat. “My love isn’t in love with me,” Melia sings over an insanely catchy chorus.
‘Kiss Me Again’ creeps in with buzzing bass and noodling arpeggios that almost sound like the revving of a motorbike engine. ‘Absolutely Disgusting’ is the only time we hear the album slow down and it’s one of the more revealing and honest moments on the album. In essence, it’s a heavily produced, celestial-sounding 8-minute confession of a fuckboi. Lyrical professions include: “She said ‘It’s absolutely disgusting, the way you treat these girls’,” and, “I told you things I didn’t mean so you’d stick around.”
‘You’re Not The Future’ drips in nostalgia and relatable “what ifs?”. “We made all of these plans but never got out of your room,” Melia croons.
‘I Want To Go Where I Can See The Ocean’ is a euphoric pop gem propelled by a chorus laced with whirring synths and a chanting bridge of “If we fall down”. It closes with a two-minute outro of a waning drum beat, some mournful horns and the crashing of waves which bleed into the closing track ‘I Was Looking Back At You To See You Looking Back At Me’. Although the title sounds like it would belong better on an album by The 1975, it’s a melodic pop-rock banger that acts as a fitting bookend to the end of the record.
Look, Forget The Future is still undeniably a British India album. While experimental in parts, in the end, the boys didn’t move too far from their indie pop and/or rock base. But tightened song-writing and more textured production make for a fresh-sounding record that’ll be a nice addition to your regular rotation this summer.
‘Forgetting The Future’ is out now.