Los Campesinos! fifth album NO BLUES sees the band do as theyʼve always done: grow up without grow-ing older. The music has become more focused, more direct and the lyrical content of the album seems to have become more obtuse, harder to penetrate. While the young Los Campesinos! were happy to go dancing in public fountains, NO BLUES begins with an invocation of the flooding of Capel Celyn and ends with a swan dive into a river.
Recorded in Bethesda, Wales in June, NO BLUES was produced by John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Nada Surf, Blonde Redhead) and Tom Campesinos!. The album is wholly melodic, incorporating sounds and textures new to Los Campesinos! across songs that range from soaring, evocative opener “For Flotsam,” to the anthemic “What Death Leaves Behind,” to the “sky-scraping synths” of “Avocado, Baby,” to epic closer “Selling Rope (Swan Dive To Estuary)”. The lyrics are as dense – and perhaps even denser– than ever, managing to pack in references to Welsh history seamlessly alongside football (soccer, for us Americans) and the bandʼs documented preoccupations with death, drinking, and listless sex.