Trophy Eyes, ‘Suicide and Sunshine’ (Hopeless Records)
Think about the truly important albums: Nirvana’s raw yet resplendent ‘Nevermind’; Biffy Clyro’s heartbroken ‘Puzzle’; Bring Me The Horizon’s anomalous, anthemic ‘That’s The Spirit’. You can try putting those records in a box labelled ‘grunge’ or ‘metal’ or whatever – but there’s no way they’ll fit. They’re shaped too awkwardly.
The same is true of ‘Suicide and Sunshine’ – and Trophy Eyes’ fourth long-player absolutely needs to be talked about in the same reverential tone as those accepted classics. At a time when too much songwriting is overwrought, the Australians’ fourteen new tracks serve as a vital reminder that the most significant art is undiluted, unpretentious and unhinged.
That Trophy Eyes’ latest is a monumental achievement won’t surprise those who have already fallen in love with the best band in the world. Debut ‘Mend, Move On’ immediately evidenced the quartet’s staggering potential, ‘Chemical Miracle’ transcended our already high expectations, whilst 2018’s ‘The American Dream’ remains the most underrated release in recent history.
Half a decade on from that widely overlooked masterpiece, ‘Suicide and Sunshine’ is a more asperous affair – it’s as if the polish of ‘The American Dream’ has been abraded by another five years of searching for a place to belong. The hooks remain as infectious as ever, though. Just make sure you’re prepared to cry your heart out at the same time as you’re singing along.
‘Sean’ is the most devastating song written since Floreani’s own solo effort, ‘I Don’t Want To Be Here Either’ – and ‘Blue Eyed Boy’ is one other example of how articulately Trophy Eyes marry luminescent melody with crushing lyrics. ‘People Like You’ is light/dark in a way that cements the idea of Floreani as this generation’s Kurt Cobain, whilst ‘Burden’ reminds us that the frontman is as much a poet as he is a singer.
In an era when too many artists are allowing their label’s team of ‘professional’ songwriters to homogenize their unwieldy ideas, Trophy Eyes are more vital than ever. They value connection over corporate jargon, truth over algorithms – and the fact that the group’s authenticity feels so rare really does serve as a sad indictment of the times that we live in. Not that ‘Suicide and Sunshine’ would sound any less glorious in a different context. It really is a perfect album.
In the meantime, have a go at our GCSE poetry class inspired by the astonishing Trophy Eyes.