No one sets out to make the same record twice, of course, but play the new Childhood album side-by-side with their debut and they could almost have been made by different bands such is the monumental leap forward the South Londoners have made. Released in 2014, Lacuna was a miasma of shimmering guitars and dazed dream pop. A deep dive into swirling pools of shoegazing-like sounds that surfaced into hazy sunbursts of choruses. While it still maintains the same alluring character and swooping, sleepy-eyed melodies that made its predecessor so alluring, Universal High is another beast altogether.
From the low-riding shuffle and jet stream falsettos of opener "A.M.D.," "Cameo's" elastic slow jam and the sparkling, four-to-the-floor stomp of "Too Old For My Tears To Lie," it's a record that gently traces its finger across classic sounds from the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Shuggie Otis and Prince, slips into rare groove's slick sensuousness and shares the magpie eye of MF Doom. Lacuna announced Childhood as one of the new voices worth listening to. Few would have anticipated this is where they would go to next.
One of the main challenges was to hang on to their own identity as a band while pushing themselves in new directions while working with producer Ben Allen (Gnarls Barkley, Deerhunter & Animal Collective). With Universal High they've succeeded with flying colors!