Recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool and produced by long-standing collaborator Phil Bulleyment, The Joy Of The Return marks a significant change in the band’s process, with their extensive touring allowing them time to write and develop tracks and arrangements through soundchecks and back-of-van jams.
“I think it’s definitely our most interesting and accomplished record musically,” says singer Aaron Starkie. “Lyrically the album covers love, alienation, the rise of right wing populism and comments on algorithm driven propaganda. And as always, I try to deliver those lyrics with uplifting melody.”
The dark power-pop that defined their previous releases holds a strong influence, with the brooding No Surprise providing a powerful dose of evocative lyricism amid immersive soundscapes, while the unsettling Paris is an undulating exploration of observational songwriting and eclectic musicality.
The swelling, arena-sized Zero Hour displays the enormity of The Slow Readers Club sound and sets the precedent for their incredibly exciting future, while The Wait closes the album with a beautifully absorptive combination of atmospheric synths flipping the pace of the record on its head to intoxicating effect.
The announcement of the album comes on the back of another huge year for the band, which saw them play a mammoth, 32-date European tour, and a number of sold out UK shows including London’s The Dome and two consecutive nights at Manchester’s The Ritz following the release of their critically acclaimed third album, Build A Tower.
The Slow Readers Club will embark on an extensive tour throughout the UK and EU in March, April and May, including shows in Edinburgh, Birmingham, Bristol and London’s Electric Ballroom.
They perform at Sheffield Foundry on April 7th and Leeds Beckett University on April 8th.