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Album Review: Little Comets – Life Is Elsewhere

‘It’s like barbed wire, this crucial touch, that holds me here, expects so much…’

Just one of my favourite lines from the song Waiting In The Shadows In The Dead Of Night, a treat of a track amongst 12 in Little Comet’s new album Life Is Elsewhere.

A lively, euphonious listen, Life Is Elsewhere is the second album from Little Comets, an indie rock band based in Newcastle-upon Tyne, who’s style is widely described as ‘kitchen-sink indie’.

Violence Out Tonight instantly stood out to me as it deals with the subject of rape, although an unpleasant act the track is not an unpleasant listen. It’s consistently melodic at the beginning, mimicking the victims initial unawareness to her rapist’s intentions and content state of mind. We learn his intentions through the lyrics as she would with his actions. As the song progresses, almost sympathetic harmonious backing vocals accompany the unsettling and unpredictable guitar sounds soothing us and the would-be unfortunate victim in the song. It is almost empathetic to past and future victims and is brave in the way that it gives a real raw incite through lyrics such as ‘only moonlight hides his treason’ and ’as his fingers strike her blouse’, into a subject that many victims and people feel ashamed and afraid to talk about.

This track echoes many negative themes that are portrayed throughout the album. Its ability to retain the seriousness within the lyrics of each track whilst being in no way sombre is sensitively skillful and comforting. Worry is an upbeat track comprising of a bouncy guitar intro, and if you didn’t pay close attention to the lyrics you wouldn’t notice such lines as ‘he holds her down everything is anguish now’, the contrast of the upbeat notes with dark lyrical content is both strange and wonderful.

I understand Waiting In The Shadows In The Dead Of Night as a proclamation of love in the moment of anguish that occurs when a person loses their lover. Tragedy and its aftermath is dealt with in this song as a way of coping with death is to remember lost ones and love them still. The line ‘I will be waiting, waiting for us’, depicts a lover waiting for their lover after death, waiting to get back to how they were before .

The songs Jennifer and Woman Woman take a slower more gradual pace with strung out guitar notes and pleading lyrics such as ‘woman woman please believe me’. These lyrics express a strive for love and the desire to amend relationships, which is very thought provoking.

Yet its not all doom and gloom amongst happy beats, The Western Boy track stuck out because of its different haunting background vocals that mimic that of a western soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. It’s different but not unrecognisable as a song of Little Comets and it’s a clever eclectic track that seems to experiment with sound and make effective use of that experimentation.

I have to mark Tense/Empty as my favourite track as it’s very upbeat and wouldn’t be out of place in one of those cheery film clips where characters are at the peak of their happiness, having a laugh to a chirpy accompanying tune. As is the song W-O-E with its harmonious highs and catchy repetitive lyrics.

Little Comets resemble a marvellous mix of The Smiths and Two Door Cinema Club and the album manages to keep an optimistic tone throughout whilst comprehending such issues as rape, death and love. No song is similar apart from their ability to convey 100% emotion.

I would recommend this album to anyone, dedicated lovers of indie music or not. It is a thoroughly delightful aural experience, like good food for the ear and I am certain those who are lucky enough to have it adorn their CD shelves will agree.

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