Slightly shifting their sound once again, Mystery Jets are back with new EP ‘A Billion Heartbeats’.
The album was released earlier this month, nearly a whole year since it was reportedly ready. The delay apparently due to the rough year endured by the band, with lead singer Blaine Harrison’s hospitalisation and guitarist William Rees’ departure to pursue a solo career earlier this year.
In an interview with NME, the band said they wanted this album to “punch people in the face” and they have certainly delivered. What we’re given is a full frontal, largely energetic album filled with the Mystery Jets essence we’ve come to know and love. An album with an electronic backbone, melodic heart, resounding vocals and thumping drums.
It seems only fitting that the album containing the bands “ode to the NHS” be released at a time when the NHS is fighting a hard battle for us all. ‘Hospital Radio’ is said to have been inspired by Harrisons lifelong experiences with the NHS, due to his Spina Bifida. The single was released last year and is one of the highlights of the album, with steady drums and sweet vocals.
‘A Billion Heartbeats’ has a heavy political background, with opener ‘Screwdriver’ directly inspired by Harrisons involvement in a number of far-right protests. Pounding drums and electric riffs heard throughout urging us to unite, a common theme throughout the album.
With melodic and gentle vocals contrasting against squealing riffs, we’re directed and prompted exactly how to feel. At times the simple base often leads to a sense of despair or dread but is soon followed with light vocals and inspiring lyrics, a hook that shines throughout the album. Chorus’ of “fight them with love” and “be who you needed when you were younger” intensify the theme of unity and perseverance. Whilst “living in these changing times, let’s redesign how we coexist” ‘hits hard when considering this current Covid-19 situation.
An album filled with highs and lows, frustration and peace all tied up in a neat bow. This year will (hopefully) see the band play the album live in their upcoming tour, kicking off on the 16th of November in Newcastle.