A group who thrive in their song craft when picking apart the everyday to find the hidden relationships within, Aberystwyth's Race Horses return with new album 'Furniture' and lead-off single 'My Year Abroad'. Indicative of the new LP's tight, compact song writing, 'My Year Abroad' sees the band make their most defined steps forward yet and hone in on the pin-sharp pop that lead singer Meilyr Jones has cited as recent influence such as Soft Cell, Dexy's Midnight Runners and Queen.
'My Year Abroad' is typical of Jones' lyrical perspective; it focuses on the tale of a businessman on a trip to Tokyo, but digs under the surface level to find, as he puts it "the grim reality, not the glamorisation of excess, using things and people, cheap thrills." To get himself in character he performed the song in the studio wearing a suit; "it felt really restrictive, and almost like an act of bondage, it definitely helped," he explains.
The song is built atop a sultry bass line and retrograde synths that explode into an anthemic chorus, the rough delivery of the vocal pleasingly at oddswith the smooth veneer of the music. It fits in with the vision they had for the album: that everything should feel fresh; and it does, this is pop of the instantaneous, vibrant variety, not the current on-trend slacker reverb stylings that the band admits they've grown bored of. "We wanted no fat on these songs, just melody on melody, rhythm and energy," he insists.
Race Horses have always been an intelligent band, and have often married their knack for an infectious hookwith more abstract influences; for 'My Year Abroad' Jones cites the influence of Gaspar Noe's film 'Enter The Void', seeing a likeness in its feeling of emptiness in its world of drugs, prostitution, money and business that the group wanted to create themselves. "A friend of mine who listened to it recently said it sounded like a weird mixture between a heavy metal band and the music from Star Wars", laughs Meilyr, "I'm really glad it sounds like this to someone."