Lisbon are frank and honest about their release plans. They don’t want to rush out an album and have it not reach its potential and so a series of singles and EPs has been their battleplan thus far. Their latest and most comprehensive is entitled “Life is Good” and references the origin of their band name (“the “L” stands for the “life”, the “is” bit’s the same then the “bon” is obviously the French word for good so that’s what it means. That’s why we’ve called it that,” they explained in a recent interview.). The 5 tracks show the band at their best, with potential megahit after megahit, single after single followed by a remix which adds more Balearic charm to an already catchy track.
Let’s begin at the beginning though, and first track “I Don’t Know” may be shorn of its oriental introduction but doesn’t suffer too much for its loss, becoming more instant and immediate, like an athlete straight off the blocks without a stretch or two. It begins instead with a a soaring “aaahhh” and breaks straight into Lisbon’s trademark mix of pounding drums, catchy riffs and insanely catchy electronic backing. It’s followed by “Native”, their dreamy, bouncing ode to their home town of Whitley Bay which already feels like it should be clogging up the top five of the official charts and everyone’s summer playlists.
Newest release “Khaleesi” comes next and is a stomping ode to “Game of Thrones”‘ most famous princess, Daenerys Targaryen. Pop culture references in music can come across as tenuous at best and cheap at worst, but this happens to be a terrific little pop song too, like a 1980s Bond theme with Duran Duran at the helm, but packed with lots of heartfelt geeky references to the iconic Mother of Dragons. It’s also got a really funny, cool video.
“Good 2 Me”, a live favourite closes the EP in its standard and remixed forms. It’s as cool and catchy as anything else Lisbon have released and features instantly singalongable lyrics such as “I don’t believe in anybody else, what’s the problem with my mental health?” in a plaintive falsetto. As mentioned earlier, in its J Tropic remix version, it’s even cooler and is the closest you get to lazing on a Mediterranean beach whilst listening to a band from the North East of England.
As a statement of intent, the EP shows Lisbon to be expert songsmiths, highly competent musicians and also to be in touch with pop culture and their more playful sides. If we have to wait a long time for a full LP, based on this EP, it’ll be worth the wait.
I was lucky enough to interview lead singer Matthew during their recent tour. Check out what he had to say here.