Nostalgia’s great, isn’t it? Dude York certainly agree, and with ‘Falling’, the Seattle trio have served up a prime slice of wistful indie-rock that could’ve been transported straight from the late 90s or early 00s college rock heyday.
This sense of nostalgia even translates to the lyrics, which sees Claire England, Peter Richards and Andrew Hall dissecting their youth and past relationships with a critical, sometimes amusing, eye.
It makes for the perfect combination, mixing easy-on-the-ear pop-punk tinged indie-rock with universal themes of growing up.
It’s also a stellar follow-up to 2017’s ‘Sincerely’, a low-key breakout that married breezy and contagious pop-rock and some seriously off-kilter hooks. Here, Dude York have taken this blueprint and projected it in widescreen, magnifying and enhancing every stylistic choice and emotion.
Most notably, it sees a more significant lead-vocal presence for songwriter and bassist England, and such a move brings balance to ‘Falling’. Indeed, it’s England’s songs that pop most, adding direct urgency to the group’s scattergun indie-rock. The likes of ‘Unexpected’ and the title track are prime examples, heavy in both nostalgic vibes and wistful lyrics. Opener ‘Longest Time’ goes even further, thanks to an optimistic, almost innocent, take on love and relationships; that Dude York find themselves proclaiming that they’ll “never love again” on second track ‘Box’ at least shows they’re not taking this concept too seriously either, happy to build things up and tear them down again.
While England’s tracks hit home immediately, co-conspirator and songwriter Richards also has his moments in the sun. The glassy post-punk of ‘How It Goes’ jumps from austere to frenzied in seconds and is a riot while closing number ‘DGAFAF (I Know What’s Real)’ is a pop-punk gem.
Bizarrely, ‘Falling’ is more refined than anything Dude York have done previously, but also their most ambitious record by far. That this has been achieved without compromising their playful take on pop music ensures it is a stylistic triumph and a timeless take on nostalgia.