This album is an exact reflection of its title. In a recent interview, Los Campesinos! have described their new album as, “ten songs of love, loss and heartbreak nail-gunned to a backdrop of broken, tangled bodies, creeping, dead-eyed animals, suffocating, looming shadows and World Cup exits. It is an honest, bare bones documentation of breaking up and trying not to break up in the process.” With all this in mind, forget all the exciting and blissful tones that we have heard from Los Campesinos! in previous albums, because Hello Sadness is pure melancholy.
At the beginning of the album, we are still able to distinguish the “old” Los Campesinos!, as there is a strong element of familiar edgy indie rock and raw guitar pieces which are combined with the vivacious hum of the glockenspiel. As the album progresses however, the songs gradually become more downhearted and elements of angst are recognizable.
The track ordering isn’t perfect as the songs with the greatest potential have been placed at the beginning of the album and the songs with less immediacy have been lumbered at the end, as if an afterthought. Nevertheless, ‘By Your Hand’ and ‘Songs About Your Girlfriend’ are two songs that definitely need to be listened to. These two songs convey vibrant tones and melodies intertwined with simple yet downhearted lyrics, which we are familiar with as they have been demonstrated in songs we’ve heard previously such as ‘Death to Los Campesinos!’
Yes they do gloomy and poignant songs moderately well and this album is a true representation of their musical ability, but I would definitely prefer and appreciate if they stuck to their happy, joyful songs that they are so well known for.
Released on 14th November 2011 by Wichita Recordings