REVIEW: Lovejoy sharpens, refines new sound on heavy EP ‘Wake Up & It’s Over’


Courtesy Anvil Cat Records

Lovejoy’s new album, “Wake Up & It’s Over,” was released on May 12, 2023.

Hanne Brabander, A&E Senior Staff Writer

Sprawling down sidewalks and curving around the blocks of small concert venues across Europe and the United States, hundreds of eager fans queue in anticipation for indie sensation Lovejoy’s Across The Pond Tour, many of them waiting since the wee hours of the morning.

Initially taking the music scene by storm in early 2021 with their first release, ‘Are You Alright?’, the immensely popular British online cult-classic band Lovejoy has sought to push the boundaries of the indie establishment and explore their emotional and musical depths. Released on May 12, the group’s highly anticipated 6-track third EP, ‘Wake Up & It’s Over’ (WU&IO), is emblematic of the band’s growth as they fine-tune their new sound. 

“We’ve been doing a balance of really figuring out the components of our sound,” lead singer, frontman and lyricist Will Gold said in an interview with Official Charts.  

According to an interview with Dork Magazine, WU&IO is an amalgamation of musical influences, ranging from the Arctic Monkeys to the Foals while simultaneously drawing on each member’s preferences. Not only does the EP flirt with heavier sounds and darker themes, but it continues to display Gold’s witty and intellectual songwriting and flex his musical muscle. 

“This [making the EP] has been hard, but we are a reflection of our inspirations, and so that has been second nature,” Gold said. 

Following the release of their promotional single “Call Me What You Like,” which landed at No.32 on the UK Top 40, WU&IO is already aiming for a top 10 spot on UK album charts. Despite their newfound popularity and recognition, their connection to the fans remains most important to Lovejoy. The unanticipated release of the sixth surprise track, “It’s Golden Hour Somewhere,” represents this relationship, as the band had presumably scrapped the long-time fan-favorite. 

“I think the relief and the excitement they’ll feel on the day that it comes out to just see it in the tracklisting will be worth it,” bassist Ash Kabosu said. 

“It’s Golden Hour Somewhere” features a precise blend of catchy roaring guitars and quieter refrains, soundly complemented by Gold’s searing societal commentary as the track explores the idea of wealth and status in a relationship: “I’m not sure if the stuff I want is even worth the price it costs / They’ll sell you the rope by which you’ll hang yourself.”

WU&IO features a host of captivating songs, one of them being “Portrait of a Blank Slate,” my personal favorite and the opening track of the EP. “Portrait of a Blank Slate ” is a mixture of overdriven guitars, bleeding intoxicating riffs and the culmination of indie-rock tropes with the chronicles of a one-sided affection.

“Warsaw” and “Scum” can best be described as gritty and frayed around the edges, blending self-loathing lyricism, shouty passion and loud, bold drumming. Both tracks feature powerful guitar-driven crescendos, the latter song strikingly resembling the end of Weezer’s well-known “Only in Dreams.” The lyrical breakdown in “Warsaw” is incredibly melodic and gripping: “But you’re just a cog in the machine / Apathy comforts me like a cell comforts an inmate / It won’t get better, I assure you.”

As Lovejoy continues to near a mainstream breakthrough with each release, it is safe to say that WU&IO has enriched the band’s emotional and sonic palette. As a dedicated fan, I look forward to and remain hopeful for the continued success and notoriety the band will receive for their upcoming projects!