Label: Chess Club Records
Release Date: 28th August 2020
"Lie Out Loud is full to the brim with an instantly lovable blend of indie-pop-rock. Nothing about it is pretentious: it’s just four Londoners giving it their all."
The Bloxx debut has been a long time coming. Lie Out Loud sees the quartet flirting with indie-pop, whilst retaining that quintessential Bloxx rock sound. In many ways, it feels like a departure from the singles that first brought them attention: this record is a welcome collection of songs written specifically for their debut as if to say “thank you, but farewell” to the likes of ‘Your Girlfriend’, ‘Novocain’, and ‘Monday’.
Prior to its release, we were treated to the likes of ‘Lie Out Loud’, ‘Coming Up Short’, ‘Go Out With You’, ‘Thinking About Yourself’, and ‘Off My Mind’, leaving us with seven new tracks. Of those we’re already acquainted with, ‘Go Out With You’ is the strongest: released in October 2019, it was the first sweet taste of what would become Lie Out Loud. Daringly romantic lyrics “I’ll grab my keys and kiss your picture / You’d look so beautiful in white” exhibit revitalised confidence on lead singer Fee Booth’s part. Old tracks ‘Coke’ and ‘Novocain’ flirt with tongue-in-cheek lyrics of a similar calibre, but this is levelled-up on Lie Out Loud. It’s joyous to watch.
The formula for the archetypal Bloxx song is fairly simple, but always brilliantly executed. From softly queer lyrics like “New York has stolen my lover / I think too much about her” to the bold “I can get you off / But never get you off my mind”, Lie Out Loud exhibits overt same-sex love throughout. This is most poignant in ‘5000 Miles’, a high point of the album, and ‘Hey Jenny’ is quite literally based on The L Word. In a music scene dominated by men and their guitars, this is refreshing. Sometimes you just need a lesbian to pick up her guitar and softly yearn for her girlfriend who lives in New York, you know?
Though Lie Out Loud retains a fairly consistent high energy throughout, ‘Changes’ and ‘What You Needed’ provide a heart-wrenching reflection on lost love. Capable of providing indie-pop bangers and soft bops, Bloxx demonstrate versatility here. It’s easy to predict that the lighters will come out for the likes of ‘Changes’ and ‘What You Needed’ (sob). The guitar hook on closing track ‘Swimming’ has a bit more edge than the likes of ‘5000 Miles’ and ‘Go Out With You’, which are the indie-pop versions of a cheesy love song.
Bloxx deserve it all. From playing their first-ever festival set at Truck to supporting the likes of Twin Atlantic and The Wombats on tour, it’s been a pleasure to watch them grow. Let’s hope that Reading Festival retains their main stage set for next year because let's be honest, they’ve bloody earned it.
Lie Out Loud is a pretty perfect debut. There isn’t an element about it that’s lazy or underdeveloped: the tracks weave effortlessly together, from upbeat bops ‘Lie Out Loud’ and ‘Go Out With You to the more sombre, reflective ‘Changes’ and ‘What You Needed’. It’s full to the brim with an instantly lovable blend of indie-pop-rock. Nothing about it is pretentious: it’s just four Londoners giving it their all, and they’ve done a stellar job. These tracks were made for the stage: bring on the headline tour.
Words by Eleanor Noyce.
2nd September 2020.