I've been a Delays fan since their debut album Faded Seaside Glamour. I still distinctly remember buying it from the fantastic A&B Sound when it was still in operation in downtown Winnipeg (it closed a couple of years back - it seems the closing of proper music stores is always inevitable), and listening to it before I went to my German language lab at university. Greg Gilbert's unique raspy falsetto caught my attention and their soaring, dreamy melodies transported me. I proceeded to listen to it over and over, loving tracks like Wanderlust, Long Time Coming, Stay Where You Are, You Wear the Sun, and Hey Girl (a song which bears a strong resemblance to The La's classic There She Goes). When I was in the UK in 2006, I made sure I bought their second album, You See Colours, which continued to impress me (Valentine is one of the most technicolour auditory experiences I've ever had, and You and Me is a beautiful pop symphony). I then eagerly waited as they released their Love Made Visible EP to hear what their next full album would be like, especially since they were dropped from Rough Trade and signed to Fiction Records. Officially released tomorrow in North America, Everything's the Rush is everything I would expect from the Southampton four-piece - ebullient, frothy loveliness. Some critics have called this album overstated, but I think the fact that The Delays reach for those extremes and blow them out only makes their work that much more euphoric. Romance - by which I mean the true sense of the word and not purely gooey expressions of love or a deplorable genre of novel - is always overstated, and The Delays definitely have a romantic sensibility.
While Everything's the Rush may not have that pumping electronic feel of songs off You See Colours, it does continue to prove their ability to craft incredible melodies with unabashed bombast. Lead-off single, Hooray, is joyful, jangly and jacked-up, and feels like an out-of-control kite whipping up into the stratosphere, but it only hints at the brilliance of the rest of the album. My favourite tracks on the album are Touch Down, which has interweaving lines of dancing melody, creating a vivid tapestry with syncopated drums; No Contest, which features a pulsing synth line that bubbles up like early Depeche Mode; and Friends Are False, which opens with harder guitars, leading into a darker song with a chorus that oscillates as Gilbert's voice clambers up and down scales - probably the most rock I've ever heard from The Delays. Love Made Visible opens to a rhythm that sounds like breathing, but then explodes into twee choruses celebrating an energetic love, and One More Lie In celebrates further romantic notions of youthful rebellion. To temper the energy of the rest of the album, songs like Pieces, Silence, and Jet Lag are slower with string sounds, dramatic sweeps of the orchestral, and melodic lines that skip along like children around a maypole. The bonus track The Earth Gave Me You is a pretty whirling dervish of a song with delicate keyboard lines paired with Gilbert's dreampop vocals, and it provides a perfect end for the album.