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Metronomy Small World

An accomplished return from the south Devon outfit, Small World follows Metronomy’s familiar formula of nostalgia and sombre romance – but it’s their most grown-up record yet.

Released: 18 February 2022
Small World

“It feels so good to be back,” sings Joe Mount on the lead single of Metronomy’s seventh studio album, while wearing an expression, to paraphrase Malcolm Tucker, “like Dot Cotton licking piss off a nettle.”

Mount’s always had a penchant for finding the mundane in the romantic, and you feel writing new music during lockdown has been very much in his wheelhouse. The video for ‘It’s Good To Be Back’ features the band repeatedly reliving versions of the same day, each time more wearisome than the last. Ring a bell?

Fittingly, Metronomy are also on familiar territory thematically. Revisiting Mount’s awkward coming-of-age years, this record pushes past their fifth album Summer 08, which was similarly backwards-looking, to dust off an earlier source of nostalgia.

In typical Metronomy style Mount still shies away from cliched love song adjectives. “She’s so industrious,” he playfully sighs on ‘Love Factory’. But he describes this as their first “grown-up record”, and Mount seems to directly address the band’s new generation of fans introduced to Metronomy by their parents.

“Things will be fine,” he assures us on the second lead single. Ostensibly about a relationship, it’s incredibly British in its cautious optimism and almost parentally knowing in its nod to a country trying to get back on its feet.

Another break from tradition is the unexpected guest vocal on Small World’s penultimate track, ‘Hold Me Tonight’. Dana Margolin of Brighton-based indie band Porridge Radio pops up halfway through, and the cameo is all the more effective for its rarity among Metronomy’s catalogue. Along with the aforementioned singles, it’s an album highlight.

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