Dark Music for a Creepy Season

Happy Halloween Season, everyone!

It’s been just over a year since I was introduced to one of my now-favorite bands, The Neighbourhood — or THE NBHD for those “in the know”. And now you are. You’re welcome.

Their first single, Female Robbery, was released in early 2012; I heard it just prior to the Halloween season, then had it on repeat — NONSTOP — through the New Year… and it hasn’t stopped on my iPod since.
Seriously, I get bored SO easily, and I never tire of their material. It just doesn’t happen.

What makes this group so special? Let’s review their debut album, I Love You. track-by-track.

Copyright The Neighbourhood. Columbia Records. The Revolve Group. 2013.

Copyright The Neighbourhood. Columbia Records. The Revolve Group.

I Love You.
Released 23 April
Stream along with the review.

1. How? – Ambient, appropriate intro for the very appropriately placed intro song. It builds your excitement for this journey you’re about to take with these gentlemen. Then it hits you: these dudes are bringing God into it STRAIGHT off the bat. WHAAAAT?! Listen to the lyrics, appreciate the layers (I count maybe 4 or 5… I could even be underestimating!), get lost in this after a long night or on a Monday morning… when you just.don’twanna.getout.ofbed.

2. Afraid – From dark and deep to dark and angry, a little gangsta… OHMAN. I’ve been waiting to blog about this song since before I had the idea of a blog in my pretty little head! This is my “I-wanna-fudge-your-shizz-up-because-you-pissed-me-off” song. Turn this up when you’re having a crap day at work, roll those damn windows down, and BELT IT OUT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS. It’s quite cathartic.

3. Everybody’s Watching Me (Uh Oh) – Undeniably catchy, if not slightly paranoid. Once you start bobbing your head to this in a public place, then it’s more fact than paranoia that people will be taking notice. No worries: if they’re smart, they’ll be asking what sweet jam you’re diggin’. Problem solved!

4. Sweater Weather – Quite possibly my favorite track from this entire album, and that’s saying a lot, since I’m so in love with the whole thing. I heard an in-studio exclusive on AltNation (several times over, and I sought it out there for a while…) and it is just perfection as an acoustic, but the studio version is so easy to roll the windows down and cruise to. Makes me wanna be on the beach. Bonus points: it’s great to sing along to, which I am notorious for. (P.S. speaking of, any takers on doing a re-imagination of this here song with me?! email away!)

5. Let It Go – Highly stylized lyrics. Just slick. It’ll satisfy a hip-hop aficionados, rock fans, and R&B enthusiasts alike. In fact, it hints at a bit of electronic in there, too. Throw this on during a road trip and you’ll all have a good time.

6. Alleyways – You’ll be humming this long after this one ends. Oh yeah. Ever heard of an earwig? That little riff will stick with you, and you’ll LIKE it. “duh da duh daaa di da” Luckily this song isn’t without edge, so when you tell people which song to look up they won’t think you’re listening to some teeny bopper pop crap. Saved you from an ass-kicking right there. You’re welcome.

7. W.D.Y.W.F.M.? – Blame it on my sailor-cursing mind (I edit myself so much on here), I had a few ideas of what this acronym could stand for before I heard it. I’m glad it doesn’t mean some of what I was thinking, because now I can sing (some of) it in the presence of children without their mothers punching me. Just like some of their other tolerably catchy tags, this song is gonna be stuck right in your brain, folks! It’s a good thing frontman Jesse Rutherford has some smooth vocals. It’s a pleasant experience.

8. Flawless – Calling a girl out for being too perfect? Oh, hey, thanks realistic songwriters! Don’t choose those flawless chicks. They cray cray or sumthin’. That’s the REAL flaw. The song, however, just might be named for its quality.

9. Female Robbery – The only song I MUST include the video for. Visually stunning, cinematic in quality, dark, dark, dark. I’m gonna say this: it’s an eargasm, y’all. Get over it. For whatever reason, this whole chanting “We’re gonna die” at the end makes it THAT much more appealing… they fully commit to this super-scary, horrerotica type genre, and I still cannot get enough of it. This song will remain in my playlists for years to come, if I can help it.

*Keep in mind: the French narrative is antithetically translated*

10. Staying Up – I stay up after scary movies, too, Jesse Rutherford. I feel ya. Any other scaredy cats out there? At least these guys make staying up to stave off bad dreams sound cool. Even while calling out for mommy to fight off the monsters.

11. Float – The perfect song to wrap up an INCREDIBLE album. The ending is even an appropriate ending! This is what a good producer will do for a band… advise, advise, advise. Well-tuned musicians will listen, listen, listen. Sadly, though, I really just want this album to go on for hours, and it’s just shy of ONE! *le sigh*

FINAL THOUGHTS: This album is EXPERTLY coordinated and executed. The final product is an extremely strong first album for THE NBHD.

Let me know YOUR thoughts in the comments, and thanks for earnestly considering something new… that you’ll definitely be adding to your iTunes in the very near future. 😉


Grab your handmade Halloween/Day of the Dead swag here.

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