EP Review: Fantasies // Bombay Bicycle Club


Following on from last year’s My Big Day, Bombay Bicycle Club are back with Fantasies, a four-track EP, each featuring a collaborator.

Fantasies is almost a direct continuation of My Big Day, having been recorded and mixed around the same time as their last LP. Whilst Bombay felt the songs didn’t fit the album, they agreed the tracks were ‘too strong to sit on’ and feature an array of ‘old and new pals’.

The first track, the already released ‘Fantasneeze’, is tinged with joyful possibilities. Featuring Matilda Mann, ‘Fantasneeze’ dabbles in bright, folky guitar, complimented by the clean vocals of Jack Steadman and Mann. The pair’s vocals mingle in a (mostly) optimistic, flower-child fantasy. Finishing with “I do” repeated, the longing and will of the narrator are hammered into place.

A harsh gear change into ‘Blindfold’, a thematically and sonically contrasting track. It almost represents the inverse of the previous track, feeling dark and trippy. “The sun is falling” line strongly opposes the sunny vibes emanating from a ‘Here Comes The Sun’-esque opener. ‘Blindfold’ gives Liz Lawrence’s soft vocals time to hit us a dose of reality, ending with a brief recurrence of “I’m not looking up”.

‘Willow’, featuring Lucy Rose (one of the aforementioned ‘old pals’ not seen on a Bombay track in many years), brings another shift in tone, with its steely sound and a furthering from the ideal fantasy we started with. The fantasy still penetrates through but both vocals are burdened with knowledge. Steadman’s voice is sharp and direct as he compares and contrasts him and his lover to others, before distorting away as deeper imagery sets in. This time we see vocals close out with a repeated “Happy for them”.

‘Better Now’, with Rae Morris, closes us out, lyrically harkening to the future and soaking in the present, rather than the past. It’s fuzzy, tinged with static, immediately burying us in the past, pushing forward a few decades with a deep bass rift, before vocals kick in and bring it back to the present with a twist of nostalgia. It’s eclectic, fast-paced and ends the journey better than it started. Cautiously optimistic, this time the chant to finish the track is a call of “Better now”. 

Riding the waves of life, wanting to be different, craving something different, fearing something different whilst lamenting normalcy, Fantasies encapsulate what it means to long for something – whatever that fantasy may be. Fantasies is a strong, fitting continuation for a band unafraid to lean into nostalgia whilst experimenting with who they are.

Fantasies will be released February 23.

Words by David Roskin

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