Dublin’s Bouts have returned after a five year hiatus with their new album Flow, and it’s a welcome breath of fresh, clean-cut indie air. Released via Wonkey Karousel Records, the record is a seamless blend of optimism and hope, with elements of realism and acceptance – most likely influenced by some of the member’s relocation’s from Ireland to Amsterdam and London since their formation in 2011.
Recorded by Fiachra McCarthy (Squarehead, Shrug Life, Switzerland, The Run Ons), mixed by Jesse Gander (Japandroids, White Lung, Sweat Threats) and mastered by TJ Lipple (Bats, Jogging,Fugazi, MGMT ), Flow opens with the unassuming sound of ‘Stop Pushing’. It’s melodic background synths provide the gentle resistance vocalist Barry Bracken sings of, urging listeners to “jump before [you’re] pushed”. ‘By a Thread’ follows, with jangly guitar, thoughtful lyrics, a poetic female voice sample and a summery chorus – making it perfect summer road-trip playlist material.
‘Love’s Lost Landings (part 1)’ shimmers with positivity with its euphoric riffs and upbeat vocals, whilst past, present and future are contemplated through the running rhythms of ‘Sounds Like Theft’. There are definite (and much welcomed) Weezer-vibes on ‘Passing Through’ – a slacker-pop anthem and clear favourite pick among the album’s nine tracks, before lead single ‘Face Up’ kicks in with its soaring, anthemic chorus.
The reassuring lyric “The party isn’t over, it just changes rooms” resonates on ‘Big Reveals’, whilst ‘Love’s Lost Landings (part 2)’ beautifully bookends it’s ‘part 1’ predecessor. It rings out with a mild melancholy, but its perfect pacing means the chorus “Love isn’t enough on its own, it’s a flotation device to help you home” feels like warm advice from a caring partner. Flow closes with ‘Moving Fast and Slow’ – an apt track name for a band who have spent five years working on an album that proves they’ve lost none of their passion for making feel-good, refreshing sounds.
Bouts deliver another impressive collection of shiny new material on their latest record, and we’re sure their sounds will remain buzzing in the ears of fans on their upcoming UK & Irish tour dates (see below for more info).
Flow will be released on 25th January on a limited run of 100 vinyl records. Pre-order yours here.
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Bouts UK & Ireland Tour Dates 2019
Jan 26th – Lion Coffee + Records (matinee show) – London
Jan 26th – The Finsbury Pub – London
Jan 30th – The Roisin Dubh (upstiars) – Galway
Jan 31st – Pharmacia – Limerick
Feb 1st – Roundy – Cork
Feb 2nd – Underground – Dublin
Feb 3rd – Menagerie – Belfast
Photo Credit: Brid O’ Donovan