Backseat Mafia has been following with great delight the prolific releases of The Raft for the last few years – a series of brilliant EPs that somehow capture an unique Liverpudlian pop sensibility. The Raft have released a full album, containing the previously released single ‘Xanadu’, and it represents a glorious evolution and development of the talents of Phil Wilson, the genius behind The Raft.
The opening track, ‘Light Light’ is a surprisingly heavily electronic curtain opener to the album, based on layers of atmospheric sound and vocoded vocals that serves to make the bright pop of the following track, ‘The Boy With No Soul’, all the more accentuated. For this is what Wilson does so well: chiming jingle-jangly dream pop that sparkles and shines.
Wilson has turned to his usual collaborators, singer Claire O’Neill and producer JPedro in this album and it has resulted in the typically achingly beautiful melodies and dream pop-infused instrumentation. Sounding somewhere between The Charlatans, The Las and The Lightning Seeds, Wilson has crafted an album that is enduring and iconic, filled with perfect pop songs. For example, ‘Open Up Your Heart’ has all the danceability and joy of fellow Liverpudlians ‘The Lightning Seeds’ that is contrastingly threaded with a melancholy and wistfulness.
‘Xanadu’, the first single off the album, is brilliant dream pop that immerses you in its mountain-scaling choruses:
This is a band that is severely underappreciated and deserves wider recognition. The album is available now though Shore Dive Records.