Getting a person to feel the emotions the band feels when playing one of their songs is the most difficult thing in music. A lot of bands try to do it but not a lot actually do it. Still, Elbow has nailed this since they first started to do music, partially thanks to its honest, dark lyrics and to the smooth, soulful vocals.
Through Seldom Seen Kid, Elbow managed to make a magnum-opus, an album that every band in the indie genre should follow has an example. “One Day Like This” may not be the kind of song the band is used to do, but thanks to a beautiful chorus and majestic vocals, the sing-a-long in the end pays off. “Throw those curtains wide / One day like this a year would see me right” is the most honest sentence ever sang and written by Guy Garvey and just a touching, moving one.
But still, as good as “One Day Like This” is, the band is at its best when singing about nostalgia, divorce and other dark themes. “Grounds For Divorce” puts its focus on the boring life that family men leave and ends up being a pretty catchy song overall. Another example has to be “An Audience With The Pope” in which Garvey sings reluctant: “I’ve got an audience with the pope / And I’m saving the world at eight / But if she says she needs, everybody’s gonna have to wait”. The band isn’t afraid to point fingers and Garvey isn’t afraid to just spill his heart out and show it to everyone.
Seldom Seen Kid is an album hard to understand. It’s a diverse, under-the-radar album that uses subtlety to get us to feel and understand the singer. An album to be experienced as a whole.
Listen to: Grounds For Divorce, One Day Like This, The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver.