Indie bangers with a side order of existential crisis...

If you are partial to an infectious indie pop banger with a hint of existential crises, Love Fame Tragedy’s introspective debut solo album ‘Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave’ will be the perfect offering for you. The moniker, Love Fame Tragedy, is inspired by a Pablo Picasso exhibition of the same name. 

“You’re so hardcore / You make me want to start a band,” Love Fame Tragedy sings on ‘Hardcore’. Otherwise known as ‘Murph’, The Wombats’ frontman, Love Fame Tragedy has created a distinctive sound with his solo project. ‘Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave’ is intertwined with a raw vulnerability. Personal and honest (brutally so at times) but also tongue in cheek and self-deprecating at others, anxieties are explored in song form (“I just want to sing about my feelings”). He even has a song called ‘Everything Affects Me Now’.

This album is meticulously crafted and sounds incredibly polished. It’s almost as if Love Fame Tragedy is showing off but, if anything, he’s using his years of musical experience to his advantage. As the tracks progress along the album, they get better and better, and more experimental too. These are tracks which have been made to be played in arenas with their throwback influences. Some, such as ‘Pills’ and ‘My Cheating Heart’, have been taken from his previous two EPs (‘I Don’t Want To Play The Victim, But I’m Really Good At It’ and ‘Five Songs To Briefly Fill The Void’). Each one of the 17 tracks could easily be a single. This is a ‘no skip’ album!

Opening track ‘5150’ is also a recent single. “Just because I f*ck up / Doesn’t mean I’ve got no heart,” he sings remorsefully. The term ‘5150’ refers to the California code for the involuntary hospitalisation of an adult who is experiencing a mental health crisis. At only one minute and 21 seconds,‘Please Don’t Murder Me (Part 2)’ is a delight. ‘Riding A Wave’ is an energetic number while ‘Backflip’ is captivating. Lyrically, the songs are relatable and have a certain charm to them.

This solo project has been a collaborative effort with Jack River, featuring on ‘Multiply’. Bastille’s Dan Smith also performed ‘Multiply’ with Love Fame Tragedy at last year’s Reading Festival. Other collaborators include Pixies’ Joey Santiago and The Killers’ Mark Stoermer.

You could be forgiven for forgetting that ‘Wherever I Go, I Want To Leave’ is a debut album as it’s unbelievably good. With its catchy tunes, heavy-hearted lyrics and great production, this album is captivating and proves that Love Fame Tragedy is unstoppable.

7/10

Words: Narzra Ahmed

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