ONE of this decade’s most unashamedly upbeat, pop bands return with another catchy set of songs next month. However, as we found out, The Feeling’s latest album was borne out of a much darker place than you would expect.
SOME of history’s great album’s have come out of a relationship break-up.
The likes of Fleetwood Mac, Abba and most recently Adele have created unforgettable records on the back of personal heartbreak.
While The Feeling’s terrific new album is not up there with those classics, it is still the band’s most accomplished work since debut album Twelve Stops And Home catapulted them to chart success back in 2006.
And there is no doubt that central to that success is frontman and songwriter Dan Gillespie Sells’ personal situation as he sat down to write.
The pain behind the break-up of Gillespie Sells’ five-year relationship is etched all over his voice for much of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, a massive return to form for the likeable London lads.
Kevin Jeremiah, guitarist since the band’s inception, told us that the passion that Gillespie Sells was able to bring to his songwriting and his vocals was ‘definitely’ the major reason behind the album’s undoubted success.
“I think all the best music is written because someone is hurting or sad,” he said.
“When people write songs because they have to get it out there that makes a real difference.
“It was not a nice experience for Dan but it has resulted in some really great songs.
“I can see them from the outside and I think people will react to the lyrics.”
Anyone expecting a depressing, dour 11 songs though will be shocked to find The Feeling still in remarkably chipper-sounding mood.
The lyrics may be painful, Gillespie Sells’ voice may be straining with emotion, but it is still all wrapped up in a nice, uplifting package sure to keep fans of the band happy.
“That is always how Dan has written,” Jeremiah said.
“Abba are the obvious comparison because their music is so upbeat and poppy but you look at the lyrics and they are often incredibly sad.
“That works brilliantly in pop music. However, we have strayed into darker territory as well and I think there is some Pink Floyd-style stuff coming through as well.
“That contrast works really well.”
The lead single to be released from the record could have been any one of the 11 on the album, such is The Feeling’s sound.
However, the choice of Rescue still appears a no-brainer as it is a really triumphant pop song, with a massively catchy chorus that demands the listener sings along.
It has already made the Radio 2 playlist and Jeremiah told the Mail it did eventually stand out as a potential single.
He said: “Rescue is probably the most upbeat and poppiest song on there and maybe that just felt like a good one to start with.
“It can though be tempting just to put the poppier songs out as people identify that with us but as I’ve said there is a lot of contrast on the album.”
After the runaway success of their debut album which spawned three top 10 singles in Sewn, Fill My Little World and Never be Lonely, the two albums that followed never quite lived up to that success, critically and musically.
The band readily admit they had lost their way slightly but with a new record deal in tow and an album packed full of potential hits, it seems the band are beginning a new chapter.
Jeremiah admitted it felt like the pressure was off with this album.
He said: “There was no pressure whatsoever which was brilliant – other than our own worrying about making a really good record.
“Dan built a studio on the ground floor of his house which was fantastic as we could use it as we wanted to.
“There were no time constraints and we could just work when it felt right.
“I think the whole environment around this one has had a positive impact.”
Unsurprisingly the album has already started to getting some positive noises and Jeremiah was happy to hear it.
“My mum likes it,” he said. “To be fair everyone we’ve played it to, including journalists and people’s opinions that we respect, have been positive.
“We have had a lot of the same comments as well that it seems like a whole album and it sounds like the first one.”
The band return to the live arena with an 11-date UK tour starting next month, including a show in Birmingham.
Jeremiah said the band were ready to get out there, even if translating the record live can be a challenge.
He said: “It is always a challenge playing the new songs live.
“We spend quite a long time making our records so it can be over a year since we’ve played some of the first ones put to record.
“We’ve been playing all the other songs for years and years though so that is just like riding a bike.
“However, we are really excited to play the new stuff as they are great songs to play live and we can’t wait to get out there and plug them.”
The Feeling will be performing at Birmingham’s O2 Academy on Saturday, October 26 and tickets are available from the venue or from www.thefeeling.com/gigs.
The album The Boy Who Cried Wolf is released on October 7, as is the single Rescue (video below).