Bombay Bicycle Club – 'So Long, See You Tomorrow' album review

The north London indie boys come of age on their globetrotting, wide-ranging fourth album

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5

‘Bombay Bicycle Club’ – sounds sort of exotic, doesn’t it? Except that this Crouch End quartet are named after a local chain of Indian restaurants, and have often sounded like their leafy corner of north London: sophisticated but safe. So it’s a surprise when, 20 seconds into the indie heroes’ fourth studio album, an Indian-inspired string crescendo suddenly bursts into sound, like a sunrise reflected in the Taj Mahal.

It turns out that the band’s frontman Jack Steadman has spent the last few years since BBC’s 2011 album ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ travelling the world: India, Turkey, Europe, Tokyo… His globe-trotting experiences are reflected on a confidently eclectic album, written with the sort of fresh perspective that can’t be found on the tube map.

‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ is an album of expanded horizons, which defies straight-up indie rock. ‘Feel’ loops samples from ’50s Bollywood films underneath Steadman’s trademark shivering vocals, and there’s a grand piano in ‘Eyes Off You’ and a touch of R&B slow jam on ‘Home By Now’. The LP’s title track finishes with a shower of Tetris-like acid house blips that are a long way from the guitar-led shuffle of ‘A Different Kind of Fix’.

Whilst it’s still a Bombay Bicycle Club album at heart, ‘So Long…’ marks a point at which the group’s sound has become both expansive and brilliantly refined. You’ll need to pinch yourself to remember that all of this comes from a band that, back in 2006, were tagged as jangly indie school-leavers fit only for a teenage mixtape. It’s not just those exotic samples that show far they’ve travelled.

Buy this album here

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.

Listen to 'So Long, See You Tomorrow' on Spotify

Read more album reviews

Albums of the Week

John Grant, Fetty Wap, Rudimental and Shopping

Albums of the Week

Kwabs, Battles, Ought and Duran Duran

Albums of the Week

The Libertines, Miley Cyrus, Max Richter and Dam-Funk

Albums of the Week

Beach House, Dr Dre, Yo La Tengo and more

Read more Time Out album reviews

Watch the video for 'Carry Me'

See Bombay Bicycle Club live in London

The Barfly

It's no exaggeration to describe this corner venue as an institution, since

  1. Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AN
More info

Read more music features

Time Out readers' top songs of 2015

We love discovering new music that hits that special spot, so we asked some #takeovertimeout contributors: what’s your top song of 2015 so far?

Arcade Fire on teashops, London and ‘The Reflektor Tapes’

Time Out reader Joe Presley discovers five things you didn’t know about Arcade Fire

Disclosure on Sam Smith’s ring, toilet reading and ‘Caracal’

Guy and Howard Lawrence tell Time Out reader Hannah Ashraf about their new album and becoming more than just a dance band

One to Watch: Wet

Time Out reader Sarah Taylor explains why this Brooklyn trio are ones to watch

Why I love Cadogan Hall

Time Out reader Jaime Tung explores the magic of an intimate concert hall in Chelsea

See all Time Out music features