Channelling grief can be an immense artistic challenge, but an important part of the healing process. It is a challenge Norwich/London math-rockers The Yacht Club took on with The Last Words You Said to Me…, creating a hard-hitting an honest record.
Opening on the breathtakingly beautiful Be Happy and Love (Part 2), the band waste no time setting out the themes of the album. I cried when I heard its live solo debut in a tiny room back in April, but I was unprepared for the full mix. Twinkling guitars, atmospheric piano and pushed vocals crescendo as frontman Marcus Gooda declares “tomorrow’s a better day”, before conceding “I’m barely holding on, and morning brings with it no closure”. Followed quickly by lead single Heigham Park, tributes to memories of drinks at the Bell Hotel are paid to a lost friend.
Whilst loss isn’t the only theme of the album – Glue deals with relationships in a particularly touching way – it comes through every song. It weaves through the loud-soft dynamic changes, the strained push of the chorus vocals. There’s an emotional weight to every song that is true and honest.
Taking this raw emotion and making it into a strong album is no small feat and speaks to the talent of every member of the band. Wonderful twinkling guitars and complex rhythmic elements make it an interesting listen beyond the wondrous vocals. The Last Words You Said to Me… is an album that combines beauty with brilliance. If you take a chance on one album this year, make it this one.