The Long Blondes
If Kate Jackson, vocalist and co-songwriter for the Long Blondes, were really the “glamorous punk” she proclaims herself to be, she’d understand that it takes time before an “out” trend can become “in” again. Still, her Sheffield, England-based five-piece insists on reconstituting what Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party did better just a few years ago.
Driving the album’s relationship concept home, songs about slip-ups in fidelity and perpetually being the third wheel – “Guilt” and “The Couples,” respectively – possess peak pop danceability. Though the Blondes pointedly avoid the autobiographical in their songwriting, taking on perspectives from country bumpkin to jet-setter, they must get out of their heads and be less procedural. The Blondes think they’re clever, they think they’re smart, but they’re “just too clever by half,” says the song titled by those lyrics. Fashion lesson number two for Miz Jackson: the coolest girl in the room is always the most effortless.