Kid Canaveral – Faulty Inner Dialogue (4 stars)

Hiding sensitive songwriting about selfies and self-doubt behind a shimmering façade of catchy riffs and glitchy beats

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Kid Canaveral – Faulty Inner Dialogue

Summer albums are generally supposed to offer sun-dried deliverance for the masses from deskbound limbo via supply-side anthemic bangers and moments ready-made to be captured for an opportune Facebook post. But Kid Canaveral, ever the awkward kitchen-dwelling party guests of the Scottish pop scene, would never release something so boring. Instead, new album Faulty Inner Dialogue hides sensitive songwriting about selfies and self-doubt behind a shimmering façade of catchy riffs and glitchy beats.

Three albums in, the band have established an identifiable and unique sound while still keeping the courage to play around with genre, appropriating slacker rock on ‘Tragic Satellite’ and recalling the synth pop of Klaxons on ‘Lifelong Crisis of Confidence.’ New recruit Michael Craig, joining on keys and laptop, helps build upon the electronic elements which were scattered around the edges of 2013’s Now That You are a Dancer, adding melodic depth to tracks like ‘Callous Parting Gift’ which would have come off sounding a little shallow with the band’s previous setup but which is presented as a fully realised example of Kid Canaveral’s magpie approach to pop song construction.

Lead single ‘First We Take Dumbarton’, is a ready-made radio hit (or would be, if there were any justice in the world) concealing cynical observations on social media saturation and virtue signalling behind a melodic, sing-alongable smokescreen. Despite the new developments, the new record retains the core of mischievous guitar pop that defined their debut Shouting at Wildlife. David Macgregor’s wry songwriting – always sharp without being sharp-elbowed, witty without being whimsical – has matured well, though his choice of subject (breakups and quarter-life crises), is perhaps a little more embittered than it used to be.

Faulty Inner Dialogue sees our heroes straightened out and smartened up, employing impressive production standards and lyrical duplicity on an album that works equally well as a sociable, fun record as it does as a vehicle to discuss alienation and internal turmoil.

Faulty Inner Dialogue is out on Lost Map Records on Fri 29 Jul.

Kid Canaveral

Whimsical indie popsters who formed in St Andrews while at uni. The band is signed to Lost Map Records.

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