Exilophone [Release date 06.09.19]
To my musical shame My Life Story have completely passed me by until this album arrived for review, which means a lot of catching up for me as they are masters of lush pop and are ideal listening for a devoted Divine Comedy fan like myself.
My Life Story have been around since 1993, formed around charismatic vocalist Jake Shillingford, they scored a few top 40 hits in the late 90’s before disbanding in 2000. Since then they have reformed for live shows and in 2018 it was announced they were to release their first new album in nineteen years which was to be funded via PledgeMusic. Of course that crowdfunding site folded earlier this year leaving many bands and artists high and dry with none of the pledged money, however My Life Story went to their fans to pre-order the album with a resounding response and now we can hear the fruits of the band’s labours.
Written by Shillingford with guitarist Nick Evans, and as Shillingford notes the overall theme of the songs on the album is one of ‘searching for truth in a world full of lies’.
Starting off with a song as strong as the blissful pop of ‘#NoFilter’, you just know an album is going to be good. Just to add to the album’s big wall of sound they used a 40 piece orchestra recorded in Budapest over Skype. The results of this union ring out loud and clear on the single ‘Taking On The World’, with an instant chorus this has hit written all over it, albeit if the song gets to be heard widely.
A little bit of 90’s indie pop heft on ‘Broken’, whilst ‘The Rose The Sun’ is simply divine, a dreamy song and featuring some of the best lyrics on the album including ‘My love is like the rose, the more you cut it the more it grows, My love is like the sun, You turn your head but it still shines on’.
To be fair no-one has written a song with the title ‘Telescope Moonlight Boy’ and despite the slightly wordy title it provides one of the album’s more memorable choruses. The darker refrain of ‘Overwinter’ closes the album, shades of Mercury Rev on this one.
Along with the Divine Comedy’s ‘Office Politics’ released a couple of months ago, fans of melodic indie pop have another ‘must have’ in My Life Story’s ‘World Citizen’. Big sounding indie pop with quirky lyrics doesn’t get much better than this. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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