Family Selection Box – Here Comes The Wave review

By Hannah Ashcroft

Award winning film-makers and self professed wonky pop outfit, Family Selection Box’s second album, Here Comes the Wave, is an LP with a rosy outlook on anxiety and written with a fascination of everyday life, where the lyrics weave relatable narratives amongst slick guitar tones and double tracked vocals. Sharing vocals throughout, Tom Diffenthal and Lauren Dowling approach songwriting with a colloquial wit and a dry humour.

The title track sets the tone of the album, drolly reminiscing a post-drunken squabble over a single plastic bag, while Lauren’s assured vocals ponder the disappearance of a beloved house cat in lead single Where Did She Go?. Arrangements are crafted and concise, never over laboured, yet always deliver on catchy pop hooks and cool tremolo guitar riffs.

Melancholic Car Journey pt. 1 showcases the bones of their writing, beginning with ambient fuzz, gentle piano, and whispering vocals. Tom’s delivery is low and resonant, wavering over the light instrumentation and inviting you into an intimate conversation before opening into a welcome intrusion of brass and woodwind.

Recorded on a £27 budget with members of the Bingo Records family, and produced mainly at the duos’ home, it boasts a lo-fi charm and production style. The track listing is cleverly curated, binded by common threads, but with The Serotonin Swing comes a change of tone and pace. Living up to its title, the track is a short, jazzy instrumental with shuffling drums under lazy guitar lines and an occasional burst of organ.

Drawing on humour in often bleak and strange situations, Dowling sings of things she knows and fears over jangly guitars in Hollywood Babylon, with penultimate track, Don’t Break My Heart, offering a sense of acceptance and clarity. Jaunty number Goodbye Wave is an apt conclusion to the compilation, leaving the listener with a lingering feeling of optimism.

Sonically endearing and lyrically unique, Family Selection Box’ second album plays like an old favourite. Upbeat, warm and relatable.

Secret Meeting score: 80

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