Bossy Love – Me + U (4 stars)

Bossy Love – Me + U

Glasgow alt-pop duo's debut album is joyful, infectious and full of energy

Pop lovers can rejoice today. At last, after a slew of anthemic R&B-inflected singles released over several years, Bossy Love have delivered their debut album Me + U. Having built up a reputation for high-energy, high-impact live performances, this is a welcome dive into the Glasgow-based duo's stylistic range, which swings between catchy pop hooks and heartrending melodies.

Nostalgia for the 1980s has reached fever pitch in pop culture of late, and our affection for the synthesiser-heavy era raises its head again in Bossy Love's opening track. From the first splash of synths, 'Girlfriend' sounds like it would be just as much at home in the opening credits to Sixteen Candles – or the neon decade reboot that was Stranger Things third season – as it is on a 2019 pop album. It sets a wistful tone, resembling the hazy heady days of an early crush before Amandah Wilkinson cuts in with the opening line, 'I was like, what the fuck?'.

It's a suitable primer for the rest of the album, which contrasts a relationship's euphoric honeymoon period against the hurt in its eventual demise. Yet Me + U is less about heartbreak and more about perseverance when a relationship ends. We see the determination to overcome obstacles for a long-distance relationship in 'Foreign Lover', a last ditch effort to salvage a bond in the title track 'Me + U', and the resolve to get up again when things don't work out in the closer 'Girlfriend II'.

All the while, emotionally raw lyrics come embossed with infectious tempos. John Baillie Jnr knows how to set a mood, moving seamlessly between anticipatory low-end synth and emotive crescendos. The result is a joyful first album, capturing some of the power stance energy that exudes from Bossy Love onstage while also offering something more intimate.

Out Thu 31 Oct.

Bossy Love

R&B / hip hop sounds from Glasgow-based Amandah Wilkinson and John Baillie Jnr.