To go with the earthier sound, the group has crafted an album that is earthier in subject matter: Riviera is a lush sounding love letter to the South coast towns from which the quartet hail. The seagulls and sea breeze that usher in the album give a telling indication of the subsequent hazy 40 minutes ahead. (Think a chillwave band who swapped technology for instruments.)
Owing much in feel to Air's 1998 classic Moon Safari, it's an occasionally spiky album. But for every electronic twiddle, there's an AOR influenced chorus round the corner. "We Broke Free" starts off in a pleasant doze, culminating in a crescendo of wailing guitars. Lead single "She Wants" is a mixture of shuffling beats, claustrophobic synth sounds and fluid Mick Karn-influenced basslines. The knowingly highbrow pop of "Corrine" fills the gap left by the recently departed LCD Soundystem and sits comfortably with a track like "Love Underlined" which fuses Here to Eternity-era Giorgio Moroder drum patterns with the kind of propulsive bassline Deadmau5 favours. It's a nod to their past releases on Kitsuné, making for a genuine electro pounder that still manages to sneak in a bit of Afrobeat. That little bit of funk is key, as mainstream indie rock hasn't been all that danceable of late. It's exactly why The English Riviera sounds so fresh.