You Me At Six is a band that has been flitting around beneath my radar for a while now but as yet I hadn’t brought them fully into my view. Thankfully that is set to change as we were kindly offered their fifth studio album Night People to review. The more I have given them a serious listen, the more they have snuck under my skin – in a good way.
With a sleek radio-friendly rock sound it’s no wonder these guys have broken the mainstream and with each album release they just get bigger and better. Their 2014 release Cavalier Youth topped the UK album charts – a great testimonial to mark the Surrey band’s first 10 years together.
So where does a chart-topping band go from there? Well, they teamed up with award-winning producer Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, James Bay) to record Night People in Nashville and brought in mixing help from Andrew Scheps (Black Sabbath, RHCP). What results is a very polished production and a tasty collection of great songs.
When first (and title) track “Night People” opens up you can immediately sense things have gone in a heavier direction. This mighty song oozes sexy confidence as it struts along with immense vocal layers and chunky guitars. The chorus makes you want to get your black leather trousers on and join the funky five-piece as they swagger to a bar in a cool city. At night, obviously.
Next track and next release “Plus One” picks up the pace and is more reminiscent of their earlier, safer sound. Spotify just let me know that third track “Heavy Soul” is now also available to listen to. And I recommend that you do. It’s a great song. Maybe a bit clean cut but they’re allowed that. These guys are not out to shock or break musical boundaries or sway your political persuasion – but sometimes there’s room for a song or two that you can sit and enjoy with a glass of wine. Track four, “Take on the World”, is especially designed for candles and wine for sure. I’d probably add it to my ‘having a bath’ playlist if I ever had time to make one.
Fans may have already checked out “Swear” which has enjoyed plenty of BBC Radio 1 airtime. This is another quality tune and takes us quite nicely into Nickelback territory. Somehow this whole album emits a very North American sound which I am sure most listeners would be able to detect even without the knowledge that it was recorded over there with our transatlantic friends.
Whilst the album and genre is undeniably on the more mainstream side of where my tastes usually lie, I have to admit that “Make Your Move” is another great anthemic rock tune. There is something about the choral and almost Bon Jovi-esque vocals that I like and I don’t even like Bon Jovi – at all! This will make a brilliant live track and kind of makes me want to be sixteen again getting into them and singing my heart out at the gigs.
The beat-filled and bouncy “Can’t Hold Back” and heavier and moody “Spell it Out” don’t disappoint at all and both carry themselves with cool confidence and surety.
I tend to have a ‘thing’ about how a band chooses to end an album. I like a final track to be memorable. I would imagine that settling for the final track order of an album must be a tough job among the band and one I think is incredibly important. You want to keep your listener engaged throughout and take them on a musical journey, whatever that journey may be. Well to me Night People is a very well-arranged set of songs and saving “Give” until last really does give you something to keep listening for. Then all of a sudden you’re back to that stunning opener and you’re ready to go round again.
I think one of my new year’s resolutions is going to have to be seeing this band live. They are true professionals and well worthy of your time and ears.
You can also catch them on their UK tour in April:
- 2nd – Manchester, Academy
- 3rd – Newcastle, O2 Academy
- 5th – Plymouth, Pavilions
- 6th – Blackburn, King George’s Hall
- 7th – Doncaster, The Dome
- 8th – Norwich, Nick Rayns LCR, UEA
- 10th – Birmingham, O2 Academy
- 11th – Bournemouth, Solent Hall
- 13th – Glasgow, SECC
- 14th – Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
- 15th – London, Alexandra Palace