Monday, December 13, 2021

The Lottery Winners Are Certainly Giving Us ‘Something To Leave The House For’

Indie-pop foursome The Lottery Winners formed in 2008 and truly bloomed in 2020. With the release of their self-titled debut album they delivered feel-good, energetic, guaranteed pop hits. The record charted the very day lockdown was announced. 

During this period of living in a bubble, the group wrote their hearts out and recorded a wealth of new music. They were prepared to return in 2021 with sold-out shows and festival mainstages including the O2 Ritz in Manchester. The Winners took the year of struggling with mental health and isolation and turned it into an album full of songs reminding listeners to always look on the bright side.

The Manchester group’s second studio album, ‘Something To Leave The House For’, reuses the pop formula from their previous album to create anthems for a newly optimistic world”, the band stated on Instagram. While using similar happy pop sounds, the album has a bit more edge with their collaborations with Frank Turner and Sleeper.

The group, full of talented songwriters, wrote what they knew: songs meant to be pop hits. They dedicated the album to “hugging old friends, the rebirth of live music and those summer festivals just around the corner”. It’s clear they reflected on their past year and are looking forward to their upcoming success. Bassist and vocalist Katie Lloyd stated, “If something so bleak and harrowing can hit us all, totally out of the blue and change our lives, then by definition that must mean something beautiful can too.” This is the beautiful attitude you can find in each song.

The album opens with ‘Favourite Flavour’, an upbeat and infectious bubblegum pop number. The guitar-focused tempo paired with Thom Rylance’s lead vocals creates the type of song you’d expect to hear on the radio every 10 minutes in the summertime. On ‘Sunshine’, Katie Lloyd takes lead vocals and is truly a ray of sunshine herself. Her sweet voice offers a bright vibe that will make you sway your hips and think of that someone special. 

The theme of positivity, happy times and love songs encompasses the album. While it is adorable and danceable, the pretty in pink, bubblegum pop vibe does hurt certain songs from standing out. The first few songs flow into each other in such a way that you may not realize the song has changed. ‘85 Trips’ does come out as a happy surprise. A steady tempo and saccharine lyrics, both delivered excellently by Lloyd, give a 90s pop vibe that is incredibly joyful.

‘Start Again’, the collaboration with punk/folk singer Frank Turner, adds a bit of a harder pop rock sound. It’s the perfect “don’t give up” anthem paired with uplifting lyrics that have a universal message anyone can relate to. The lead single from this record, ‘Times Are Changing’, has an electric drumbeat that evolves in the song. It’s a real foot tapper with the same incredibly optimistic message provided in each of the songs preceding it.

‘Hotel Deville’ is an instant favorite from this album. It stands out the most with funky, fun guitar riffs, giving guitarist Robert Lally room to shine. It has a gentle and engaging storyline in the lyrics with an almost spooky backup vocal and persuasive lead. Britop stars Sleeper join them for ‘Bad Things’, a song obviously about how life can be unfair sometimes. It has a rhythm that will put suck listeners in and put them in a spaced-out trance. ‘Overthink Everything’ stands out as a soft acoustic ballad with a duet feel. Rylance’s and Lloyd voices blend together to add a sweet depth to this universally relatable sombre song.

Overall, the album has a clear message of hope and optimism for better times ahead. The album’s optimism is inspiring if also a little repetitive. Most songs have a very similar sound that will make you dance and are also safe to listen to in the car with your mom. They follow the pop music formula with only a couple songs that really stand out. This group is made for constant radio play and it’s working for them. The Lottery Winners are clearly on the brink of success, announcing their own tour and being added to festival line-ups already. 

If you’re looking for a joyful album for a sunny Saturday afternoon, then look no further than The Lottery Winners to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.


Hope Orr


Image: ‘Something To Leave The House For’ Official Album Cover (PRESS)

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