Even in a bumper year for Xmas albums there comes a point where you really don’t “wish it could be Xmas every day”. After the third helping of turkey, and feeling like a cracker that has been well and truly pulled, it’s only natural to long for a glimpse of summer. Metronomy’s third album is just that. A long, hazy, coming-of-age summer on the Devon coastline.
The English Riviera shared a mercury nomination with King Creosote and Jon Hopkin’s gorgeous arthouse long player, Diamond Mine, described as a “fictional soundtrack to a romanticised life led in a small Scottish coastal village”. In retrospect the two records had much more in common than being thrown together in the Mercury hat; seasisde themes, a sense of languid nostalgia and the skilful way they blended electronica and acoustica. But the Metronomy record was younger and sunnier, even if with its tea-dance Wurlitzers it was also rooted in somewhere shabby and slightly out of place.
On some of his earlier outings Joseph Mount sounded like he was essentially composing electric pieces.But this year he wanted to make what he’d created on his Mac sound much more like a pop band. And the resulting sound was like a much more attractive, sophisticated version of the XX with an added whiff of sea breeze, and the aftertaste of candyfloss. Even if you don’t have the album, you are almost certain to have heard “We Broke Free”, “Everything Goes my Way” and “Corinne” in the background of fashionable cafes or played over links on the telly.