Finding the perfect Valentine’s gift for the one you love can be a difficult undertaking. Welsh indie troupe Los Campesinos! might not have the answer, however, if you’re looking for the exact opposite, well, they have “the perfect late Valentine’s gift for the one you loathe” (as advertised on their blog).
The seven-piece are set to release Romance Is Boring, the title track from their new album, as a single the day after Valentine’s Day.
“The opportunity to put it out so close to Valentine’s was far too good an opportunity to miss,” admits frontman Gareth Campesinos!. “(But) it wasn’t written with Valentine’s in mind. I actually like Valentine’s if I’m being honest, I guess. It’s probably the day of the year where it’s most acceptable to get blind drunk and make an ill-advised declaration of love, and that’s my specialty.”
On the band’s third album, Gareth hits his literary stride with those signature declarations and biting slogans, but also digs deeper to present a more complicated take on soured relationships and mortality. You can practically call him an expert.
“There have been plenty of those subjects over the past couple of records, but perhaps on this occasion it’s a more focused vision,” he explains. “I’m 24 years old, so over the past four years being in the band I’ve had some of my most formative experiences, since leaving the cradle of full-time education. I’ve changed untold amounts as a person, and for better, for worse, this is where I’m at now.”
After the double shot of 2008’s Hold On Now, Youngster… and We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, Romance Is Boring finds the band even more fertile sonically. The songs sound bigger, not to mention more intricate, having expanded their scrappy, glockenspiel-assisted lo-fi with spasmodic noise eruptions (Plan A), angular waltzing (Who Fell Asleep In) and moody electronics
Gareth has gone on the record to call it “the best record we’ve made by a massive stretch,” but he’s quick to point out how it’s the band’s growth that makes such a bold statement stick.
“I really like the previous two,” he says with assurance. “There are issues I have with WAB, WAD, but I still think it holds up. And HON, Y ... reminds me of so many overwhelming and exciting times, it just doesn’t seem like me anymore. Romance Is Boring makes use of all the lessons, life and musical, that we’ve learnt. I guess we know how we want a Los Campesinos! album to sound now.”