With this melancholic tough to single ‘Valentine’, Manchester’s current names-to-drop might suggest the usual indie reflection. Repeated listens to their new eponymous album shows how far they are from anything “usual”; indeed appropriately named track “Logic Has No Part In It” takes their respectful love for REM and Velvet Underground into playful time-switching areas not too far removed from YouthMovies or The Northwestern.
“Machines Gone Down” should be marked now as a future festival fave, sounding quite brilliantly like the Editors fused with the Kinks, sounds which emerge from the folk of “Valentine” or the acoustic musings of “Crash This Car” (“I can’t speak for myself”, a silly claim in an album full of wistful, wondrous songwriting).
Unlike the 2008 mini-album “Towards Light”, this is not instant or immediate, the beautifully realised collection of songs proving there is still life yet in the age-old practice of allowing an album the freedom of tell its own stories. There are few albums suited to the days when the summer heat is as close at night as at high-noon; the Nightjars is a perfectly placed candidate.
(For those who like scoring systems “■■■■□”)