METRONOMY Summer 08 Because Music
Joe Mount has written, recorded and produced five albums in ten years, and by the sound of things, he’s done a whole lot of thinking about that fact.
The summer of 2008 saw the release of Metronomy’s second album Nights Out – the first record to win his musical moniker the milestone of a billboard ad. A quick Google suggests Mount spent 2008 playing the kind of venues that you’d kill to catch Metronomy in now: Bristol’s Thekla, London’s Old Blue Last, Glasgow’s Arches (RIP). While Metronomy’s 2014 album Love Letters was an exercise in luscious, 60s-style pop, Summer 08 is a nostalgic tribute to his more youthful indie disco years. “I wanted to make another record with the naivety of Nights Out,” Mount said in this album’s press release, “ten tracks, straight up, upbeat. Write another banger, then another, and don’t really think about it.”
He’s partially achieved this. Summer 08 is roughly 50% bangers. Opening song Back Together is a nerdy hip-shaker, using a corny call-and-response style vocal conversation to remember – and regret – “grad school” era flirtations. Lead single Old Skool sees Mix Master Mike wrap up a cowbell-driven, powder-fuelled spin of bratty bravado with an onslaught of turntable scratching that somehow works.
Mid-record, Mount finally lets us see the emotional depth behind the grinning, sweaty Myspace profile pictures. Robyn turns up on the melancholic Hang Me Out To Dry to join Mount on a trip down memory lane (“When I’m going out, I always take these same roads,” he murmurs). Mick Slow is sultry psychedelia with a wink and a nod to Bowie. Closer Summer Jam hits the sweet spot between hazy rememberings and critical, sobering self-inspection. Abruptly aggressive synth lines and angelic choral voices well up and fade out, leaving only echoes. You can hold on to the memories for as long as you want, but no party lasts forever.