Amber Brooks | Student Contributor
Perhaps it’s global warming, my mouldy pasta in the fridge, or the Wombat’s new EP, Everything I Love is Going to Die, that makes me feel rather sad about the state of the world, but Matthew Murphy’s gloomy lyrics somehow make me feel OK about it.
In a surge of yearly releases, the new EP from the Liverpudlian loner trio is one of the most humbling and thought-provoking releases to come out of the pandemic. It takes a few listens to get the full effect of the album, maybe that’s because of the repressed memories of sitting coldly in my bedroom and waiting for the green light to go outside.
The EP arguably doesn’t hit as hard as their previous releases. However, the nostalgia runs deep alongside crowd favourites such as Moving to New York and Let’s Dance to Joy Division. The new EP still upholds the same danceable quality as their predecessors and their track If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming with You is undeniably going to be sandwiched between these hits at their next show. It is the highlight of the album, and without this track the album would be a huge failure. It’s a safe song, released before the main record and has the distinct Wombat’s songs-that-should-be-in-a-romance-film sound which makes them so enlightening and diverse within the music industry.
However, the rest of the album provides an experimental exposition into love and life and the mistakes that come with it. I cast my mind back to the sweaty Southampton Guildhall in late 2018 with my best friend, Max, wiping away floods of tears from her eyes. Yes, it wasn’t really my scene, but it was her first live show and I was thrilled to be there with her! From the band being pelted with lemons when their eponymous Lemon to a Knife Fight was played, to the casual unified groove of Jump into the Fog, the music that struck me the most was towards the end of the set. Here, what they described as ‘elevator music’, an entrancing instrumental played between their hits, was the highlight of the whole show. I had wished since that point that they would experiment on this further. It’s disturbingly beautiful, even if the subject matter is so macabre. This is the growth I love to see, especially within the indie bands I grew up with.
This transitionary album is not the last you’ll see of the experimental quality of the Wombats. Maybe it’s not the direction that the fans wanted, but I certainly appreciated it.