The fifth studio album for British rock band You Me At Six released today via Liberator Music. You Me At Six are Josh Franceschi (vocals), Max Helyer (rhythm guitar), Chris Miller (lead guitar), Matt Barnes (bass guitar) and Dan Flint (drums). We couldn’t wait to dive in to Night People, and review it, track by track!
Night People starts with its title track (“Night People”) as the first of ten tracks. Seconds into it we are immersed in raunchy rock, piano and breathy vocals. The distortions across the track, “whoa-oohh”s, and shaking bass give the track night time grittiness. It’s such a sexy song and a great way to start an album.
“Plus One” has a feel to it that it’s pulling us out of the night and into a pub watching the band. This is fast-paced rock, with guitars demanding focus and with a song structure (“..daaa-aay / The wrong time, the wrong plaaaa-aace / To say this to your face”) that has me wanting to hit repeat. It’s another hot track and is captivating. My only complaint is that it’s way too short.
“Heavy Soul” at track three is slower and warmer musically-speaking than the first two. Enjoyable nonetheless as we witness a man bare his heart: It feels angsty and questioning, seeming to lyrically refer to a partner and their disconnect. The pre-choruses have such a beautiful honest sound to them.
The vocals leading us into “Take On The World” are so beautifully tender, matching the light sound and gentle drumming. It’s a moving track, and brings honest emotion into the lyrics, building with volume, passion and music going into the chorus:
And just say the word, we’ll take on the world
Just say you’re hurt, we’ll face the worst
The chorus of “Take On The World” is beautifully and powerfully expansive, with an on-top-of-a-mountain feeling of hope and strength being brought to the subject of the song. Wow, this is one incredible song and one that could be put on whenever someone felt like they needed someone to have their back.
“Brand New” starts light with guitar, keys and vocals but invites in that rich emotional sound soon enough. You Me At Six seem to be very good at creating these potent soundscapes. The power of the chorus matches the power of the lyrics; a line of questioning toward a lover who is letting their past hold them back.
The intro of “Swear” is so funky, with a very catchy bassline. I can’t help but notice the lyrical theme of asking what someone is waiting for across multiple tracks. Swear does the same, seeming to be at conflict with a person they’ve had enough of dealing with. The bridge is particularly cool, as is the section at around 2:00 leading into the outro. Another awesome song!
I am in love with the sound of “Make Your Move”. It’s so cleanly done from the get-go: Isolated guitar, drums playing a simple rhythm, a chord riding through, before all elements combine powerfully at the chorus (“You’re under my skin x 2 / I’ve got no time for you x 2”). The electronic accents give a funky feel that other tracks of Night People have also tapped into. It’s easy to sit back and just take it all in. The bridge is so good, paring the sound back again before building it up into a powerful conclusion.
You want me
“Make Your Move” will be another one from Night People that I’ll be playing on repeat. It ends as cleanly as it began.
“Can’t Hold Back” is track 8 and I’m really loving the drumming on this track. The song begins simply, with instruments seeming in isolation during the first verse. At the pre-chorus (“I think I figured it out”) the band begins to join forces, growing into a powerful wall of sound that reaches its peak at the chorus. The not holding back seems to relate to giving someone a piece of long-awaited honesty. The bridge of “Nobody wants to be alone” with a collective vocal sound is powerful, as is the outro.
“Spell It Out” is such a beautiful track. It’s heavy and sombre and emotionally hard-hitting. It has a feel to it of a classic track with massive potential for longevity. I love the light(er) and darker shades of sound on this track, with the vocally focused sections beside the heavy rock focused sections. We love the guitar, love the rawness of the vocals, love the cry of the bass, the build-up of drums, the harmonies, the old school heavy metal sound from the bridge. Perfection, perfection, perfection. Understatement.
The final track on Night People is “Give”. To me it’s such a perfect last track; it has that dusty eyed early morning sound to me with the sliding acoustic guitar sound and light sound. The peak of (emotional) darkness hit at “Spell It Out” and now the sun is starting to peek over the horizon for a new day to show itself. Where multiple songs had the same theme of questions spiralling (“What are you waiting for? Where are you? Should I wait?”), it feels with “Give” that we’ve hopefully reached a conclusion; “No more”:
I’ve been wasting all this time
Trying to keep you off my mind
Yeah, you off my mind, no more
What an amazing album Night People is!
I feel that with this album we had the pleasure of meeting ten different people of the night and the tracks were expressing the stories of the experiences they’ve had. Each track brought honest emotion and exceptional rock, in unique ways.
Night People has the feel of an album that’s will become a comfort to play, to share in the questioning in life, to feel supported, and to feel like someone else gets the darkness. It’s not all heavy-thinking/emotionally frustrated material though, and tracks on Night People where the music is hard hitting and raunchy feel like a celebration of the night. Whether freedom or questioning is your night’s agenda, Night People has the perfect feel of an album designed for late evenings and is an invitation for stepping out of the grind of life.
Check out Night People by streaming below and see what you think of You Me At Six’s latest release.