I’ve gone In Search of the Miraculous later than others; in fact, this retro-feel record is my first dance with Desperate Journalist (however much I might relate to their name). Although it may only be my first, this album is the third outing from the London band whose tunes, at least now, echo the ’80s of The Cure and the most underrated A Flock of Seagulls.
Similarly, In Search of the Miraculous also conjures the nation’s feelings on what’s going on with the country and beyond. Though in songs such as ‘Cedars’ lead singer and songwriter, Jo Bevan, sings of interconnectivity, there’s still something about the songs that reads as political, as prophetic; both comparative to the era before Morrissey outed himself as too much of a dick and dissonant.
Where ‘Cedars’ speaks of love, ‘International Waters’ holds nothing back on the state of the world. Furthermore, the clear influence of the heady gothic edge of the ’80s on In Search of the Miraculous is full of current sounds. Full of influence from London as it is under 40 and maybe above, maybe below, but always in the shadows of the 1%.
For me, the clear winner of the record comes with the closer. And trust me, it’s hard to pick a winner from a batch of great songs. That said, there’s a lot in the spangling Pearl Thompson-esque riffs of closing track ‘To Be Forgotten’ to make the record feel like the closing of a journey that you’ll only want to start over again.
Bevan’s vocals are the highlight of the album, but it’s impossible to say anything other than the fact that Desperate Journalist works as a fourpiece and, was any of those pieces displaced, it would disrupt the ‘Ocean Wave’. Desperate Journalist’s newest album is as much a must for hardcore ’80s enthusiasts as those who’ve never even heard of a Smith.
In Search Of The Miraculous is out now via Fierce Panda. Catch Desperate Journalist live:
14th March: Birmingham – Hare and Hounds
15th March: Manchester – Deaf Institute
16th March: Glasgow – Broadcast
21st March: Bristol – Exchange
22nd March: Nottingham – Bodega
23rd March: Leeds – Lending Room
5th April: London – The Garage