After spending thirty years hidden behind a pair of shades, Welsh indie-pop legends Helen Love have released their most personal album to date. The band’s tenth LP, This Is My World is a reflective, intimate record that explores ageing, loss and front-person Helen Love’s childhood – a departure from their typically joyous odes to punkers and disco dollies.
Full disclosure: I’ve been obsessed with Helen Love for over half my life, so it feels pretty revelatory to hear such personal lyrics. ‘Seaside Town’ is a wistful take on life in a small town, while ‘Clearing Out Mum’s House’ deals with grief and the memories wrapped up in a place.
This isn’t just Helen Love’s most open album, but it’s their most accessible too. The dizzying, “happy hardcore” beats they’re known for are turned down in favour of a punkier, more melodic and guitar-led sound. Songs like ‘Go-Kart’ are simple and stripped right down, so you can really focus on the vocal and lyrics. That said, the band prove they can still get the party started with the closing title track ‘This Is My World’ – a Pet Shop Boys-esque banger that really shines, combining an infectious ’80s-inspired groove with a poignant, introspective lyricism.
As Helen explains, “Getting older, life changes. Children grow up and leave home, loved ones pass away, friends move on. It’s easier to look back and harder to push forward…it’s not all bubblegum punk rock disco around my house anymore, but in truth, of course, it never was…”
By inviting the listener into their world with this punk-driven, powerful record, Helen Love are at their most relevant and relatable here. A fitting album for the post-lockdown era, it’s reassuring to know that even Ms Love’s life isn’t all Casio keyboards and confetti canons.
This Is My World, the upcoming album from Helen Love, is set for release on 28th January via Alcopop! Records.