Some bands are fun, some are fad, and some are forever. Lovebreakers want you to know they are emphatically the third.
Their debut album, Primary Colours, boasts a simple sound and the shimmering feeling that only beach days and long drives can conjure; you can practically hear the Californian palm trees—where the four-piece recorded—swaying in the ocean breeze, seemingly just behind the drum kit. “We had the opportunity to go to LA and record, which we jumped at because who wouldn’t?” vocalist Jack Perry laughs. “We went out to Costa Mesa, which is in Orange County, and from the get go, it was all just really good vibes. It took us three weeks; we tracked everything there and it all got mixed there.” This chance to add in a sprinkle of the west coast made Primary Colours a rock and roll record that doesn’t feel stale, catchy pop-punk that wears its heart on its tattoo sleeves.
Channeling the fire and three-chord aggression of Green Day and running it through the jangly, mid-tempo brilliance of Tom Petty, Lovebreakers sound like few other English bands. “We always set out to create music that is timeless, not a flash in the pan stuff. We always wanted to make the music stand the test of time,” says bassist Christian O’Reilly. “It’s about leaving a mark,” adds Perry.
That mark—that bullseye of permanence they’ve managed to pin your ears to— sounds like Britpop on vacation, with enough self-assuredness and confidence to keep it fresh. “Being in California comes through on the record. It still sounds British—Jack’s voice is noticeably British, he sounds like himself,” says O’Reilly. “But in terms of what we were surrounded by when we were recording, palm trees, beaches, sand, sunshine, I do feel that comes through.” Recording in California allowed for a whole different vibe. “Obviously the songs would still have been there, but the tones would have been a little bit more gritty,” says Perry. “It’s a record that you can cruise with your mates to, get on in the car and it’s a summer record, you know, it’s very melodic and major based.”
The result may be summery, but it’s not frivolous. Listen close and you’ll catch lyrics touching on subjects that fly in the face of the sunshine bursting through the speakers: “Some of the lyrics are quite dark on the record to be honest: The first track ‘Eye Roller, that’s about going out and getting absolutely hammered with your mates and just being lads, and then there’s this tune on there called ‘I Will Love Life’ and that’s about mental health, which is quite dark but again it’s melodic and quite bright. So you have that contrast,” says Perry.
Nowhere is this clearer than on ‘L-A-U-R-A (Vintage Movie),’ with it’s anthemic chorus, instantly recognizable riff and a melody that dares you to get it out of your head (spoilers: you can’t). But these infectious, sun-soaked ear worms permeate the whole record: ‘Family Man’ is emphatic—with horns to boot—while you can already see the lighters in the air when ‘Cling On’ starts playing.
Primary Colours is a summer record made for big speakers and close friends. Windows down, shorts on, worries long gone. And yet, its impact feels longer lasting—like it’s capable of holding your hand through the long winters, promising the feel good sun will return. It’s timelessly joyful, it’s endlessly uplifting, and it promises that it’ll all come good in the end: “The theme of the record is hope,” says Perry. “It sounds a little bit cheesy but there’s always an element of hope in there—whether you’re just wanting to be bettering yourself, wanting to move somewhere else and have a better life, or just growing up trying to understand who you are.”