We Were Promised Jetpacks – Enjoy the View
The fifth album from Edinburgh indie rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks signals the start of a new chapter
By the time their last album, The More I Sleep the Less I Dream, closed with its epic, post-rock inflected title track, it seemed as if We Were Promised Jetpacks had successfully navigated a tricky crossroads. It was one that involved existential angst around turning 30, as well as the fulfilment of their contract with FatCat. Fast forward two years to 2020 and the Edinburgh outfit again found themselves in choppy waters, adapting to life as a three-piece after the amicable departure of founding member Michael Palmer and unable to work together in person on this fifth full-length because of pandemic restrictions.
What’s arisen from these circumstances is a grab-bag of experiments, as the now-trio try on a variety of stylistic hats while they figure out what the future of WWPJ sounds like. Enjoy the View runs the gamut from icy, synth-flecked atmospherics (reflective opener Not Me Anymore is a case in point, Adam Thompson’s lyrics indicating a break from the past) to breezy, melodic indie pop (Fat Chance) and scuzzy punk squall (Nothing Ever Changes). Past comparisons to The Twilight Sad have often been lazy and superficial – heart-on-sleeve indie rock that does its heavy emoting in a thick Scottish brogue – but All That Glittered genuinely sounds like something that was left off of Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave.
By the time proceedings close it’s not clear whether WWPJ are any closer to having chosen their next direction. They seem to be enjoying the process, though.
Listen to: All That Glittered, I Wish You Well, Just Don’t Think About It