The Districts - You Know I'm Not Going Anywhere | Album Review

After three years since their last release The Districts return with their next instalment You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere. An album that ties together the journey that the band have been on in recent years, You Know I'm Not Going Anywhere ultimately journeys through what they as a unit have discovered about themselves and their music.

Regarded by bandleader Rob Grote as an album that almost never happened, the album is a collection of songs that were written by the man himself during a particular period of transition that brought into question the future of the band. Due to both personal and professional reasons, as a collective the group felt fatigued and disoriented when approaching a new album, a sense of disconnect exaggerated after performing 200 shows in support of their previous release Popular Manipulations.

With this in mind, there is a palpable sense of hurting, healing and recovery weaving in the deep crevices of this record from start to finish. There is a particular emotional impact that can be felt oozing from Grotes writing and performance, ‘Hey Jo’ is a prime example of the mixture of the slow building backing from the rest of the band and the airy vocals provides the perfect narrative for this track that feels like a letter to a previous lover. The chorus kicks in with a wall of sound revealing the true meaning behind the words being written in the letter, it’s a sense of mental wellbeing and what you feel when it diminishes. The expression on this album is evermore supported by the superb mixing of Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Spoons, MGMT) who’s layered work entices a new layer from the album.

Whilst there is a deeper sense of pain flowing deep in the roots of the album, there are some elements of the inventive origins where the band emerged from. ‘Cheap Regrets’ is a matured instalment of the original sound with the introduction of more experimental elements, with the likes of synthesizers, ambient swell and samples (to name a few). This track ensures that the ambitious leap that the band have taken hasn’t reverted from where they started.

In a time where the future is as uncertain as ever, with the state of the world in disarray there is no surprise that people are confused and anxious. It is in these times where the expression of music is a valued artform in which emotion and these feelings of isolation can be opened up. This is an album that was birthed in a troubling time, and whilst it carries this message, it is also one in which proves how The Districts are evermore so maturing and developing how they sound, they are unique in the way in which they can transition from album to album, changing elements throughout but still hone their sound and stamping their sound on the modern world. A wonderful release that showcases that despite the pain and disquiet, The Districts will always be able to articulate their thoughts into indie-rock beauty.

Score: 8/10

You Know I'm Not Going Anywhere is released March 13th via Fat Possum Records. Pre-order the record here.


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