The Kooks have released their much awaited fifth studio album, ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’, via Lonely Cat/AWAL Recordings. The album coincides with a new video for ‘Four Leaf Clover’, which has been directed by Sophia + Robert, from Odelay Films, best known for their work with Kara Marni, and Grace Carter.
‘Let’s Go Sunshine’, a 15 track album, continues with the sound that fans know and love, harking back to that of the British Invasion acts, with special nods to the likes of Traffic (in ‘Tesco Disco’, with its ‘Hole In My Shoe’ eastern vibes), ‘Honey Bee’ (very much sounding like David Bowie’s ‘Black Country Rock’ – itself an homage to Marc Bolan – a nice gesture, especially given the band are named after a Bowie song), and The Beatles, with ‘Believe’. I was struck by how much their sound reminds me of one of my favourite Irish acts, The Thrills, and I discovered, via The Kooks’ Wikipedia page, that I’m not the only one, and AllMusic once described them as, “A more energetic Thrills.” ‘Fractured And Dazed’, with its guitar led sunshine pop rock, is another which strikes me as very much “Thrills-like”.
Overall, it’s a great album, and filled with much that fans and casual listeners alike will enjoy. Songs such as ‘Four Leaf Clover’, for which they’ve now released the music video, and ‘Chicken Bone’, closely examine the dual nature of British urban life. This is immediately apparent from the Intro, which sounds like 21 seconds of football chanting in order to get us in the mood for the rest of the album. We particularly enjoyed the homage to The Who with ‘Kids’ – it’s the antithesis of ‘The Kids Are Alright’ – they’re not alright – they’re not happy with putting up with the situation – they’re frustrated and wish they could do something about it, but instead, they can’t:
“When I don’t have a choice, when I can’t find my voice”
The Kooks have spent their bank holiday weekend playing the main stage at Reading & Leeds Festival, and have started to tour the album around the UK, beginning last night in Belfast, before returning to the UK mainland for a show at The Moth Club in London, tomorrow night. The video for ‘Four Leaf Clover’ opens with a girl being bullied in the school showers, with the entire thing posted on social media. She escapes from all this in her head, visualising bright flowers, running through the fields, and The Kooks playing. It’s a heady reminder that there are dangers to our internet obsessions which we need to examine more closely.
See here for tickets and further information about The Kooks UK tour. You can stream and download ‘Let’s Go Sunshine’ here.