A mild LP that continues a long 30-year tradition
Elisha Cloughton
09:08 8th October 2020

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Glaswegian band Travis are back with their latest album 10 Songs. Their first release in 4 years and their 9th studio album, it marks the group's thirtieth anniversary - and for the most part brings more of the same.

10 Songs opens with ‘Waving at the Window’, a melancholic tune full of vocal harmonies and prominent yet soft piano sounds. It leads into ‘The Only Thing’ a single featuring Susanna Hoffs of the The Bangles. With an intro reminiscent to that of an alarm clock, it’s safe to say this didn’t start us off on the right foot.

That being said, ‘Valentine’ definitely took us by surprise. It starts off slow, showcasing nothing but simple guitar strings and Healy’s voice, before breaking into a much rockier sound complete with gravelly guitars similar to that of The Black Keys. An album highlight.

‘A Ghost’ was an early 10 Songs single, and it’s a deep one. “I saw a ghost / In the mirror coming near...he said “It’s easier to be alive / Than hide under your pillow / While your life is passing you by” / So live your life / Don’t waste your time”. In the current climate, living your life is proving difficult, but the sentiment is there - and it hits home.

The rest of the album is much of the same, making for very easy listening. In a long thirty-year tradition, 10 Songs successfully continues Travis’ generic sound: mellow instrumentation and vocals to match.

As a whole, 10 Songs is a little bland. With the exception of 'Valentine', Travis don't experiment on their latest record. Though a decent listen, nothing screams newness or thrill. Long-time fans will no doubt however be delighted.

10 Songs arrives 9 October via BMG.

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

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Photo: Press