Album Review: Clean Cut Kid – Felt

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Liverpool natives Clean Cut Kid have been dominating the UK festival scene since forming in 2015. The eagerly awaited debut album Felt is finally here and does not disappoint. Filled with shimmering riffs, good melodies, and striking vocals, Clean Cut Kid, prove why they are one of the most exciting breakthrough acts at the moment. 

Clean Cut Kid recorded Felt at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios and entrusted producer Rich Turvey (Blossoms, The Coral), London’s Konk Studios with Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire), and London’s Voltaire Studios with Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, Wolf Alice). This combination brought the electronic infused pop songs with catchy hooks and emotionally charged lyrics to life. 

According to the band, “the concept of ‘Felt’ is the timeline of a break-up from a relationship falling apart as you reach the end of the A side of the record; to flip into the B side where we emerge from the breakup and back into a new relationship.”

The album starts with tracks written by lead vocalist, Mike, about his bandmate and wife Evelyn falling in love, while the second half of the record are songs that Mike had stored away from previous relationships. 

The power-pop opener ‘Vitamin C’ brings the thumping baseline and beautiful harmonies which are present throughout the album. The fun and funky melody pull you in, while the lyrics are sugary sweet. The build-up of synth and drums create a truly unique and unreal tune. 

The title track is a catchy, smart pop tune which includes a rampant, in your face, forceful breakdown. It is infectious, cathartic, and the perfect song for lost love. 

‘Brother of Mine’ is a unique track that showcases the depth and raw emotion Clean Cut Kid can bring. It is different from anything they’ve done in the past, and I wish there were more like it on the album. 

The bar for all men everywhere has been risen because of ‘Evelyn’ the track that Mike wrote for Evelyn. The warm guitar riffs combine with lyrics like “I could play a million chords on this guitar  never find one to sum you up,” to create a joyous and light track. The emotional track is about finding love again and pulls at my heart strings. 

‘Leaving You Behind’ is a standout on the album which pulls out all the stops that Clean Cut Kid have to offer including remarkable harmonies between Mike and Evelyn. The power-pop anthem is begging to be played at a festival. The ode to a finished relationship is a positive spin on breakups. 

It is easy to get caught up in the happy melodies thanks to the punchy pop hooks while glossing over the poignant lyrics. Glimmering melodies distract you from the tale of failed relationships and unrequited love. 

This album is a culmination and example of how far this band has come, and how far they will go. Clean Cut Kid’s debut album leaves me itching for more and has certainly left me with a go-to breakup album.

Written by Megan Venz