My Sad Captains’ The Best Of Times lets you lie still in its warm, mid-tempo, layered guitar-and-keyboards embrace. Either dial in closely to uncover the prescient allure of the London foursome’s tunes or have them soundtrack your own internal musings. There’s cruisy dawn-of-day music and candles-burning night-time sweeteners. It’s not just fit for solitude either – it’ll make a juicy complement to dinner party conversation or a joint-passing vinyl session. 

 

Hushed vocals and unhurried instrumentation develop a pleasant, sometimes hazy, sometimes melancholic sensation throughout. There’s also enough rhythmic ebb and flow to ensure a forward pulse. ‘All Times Into One’ recalls the calming antidotes on Spiritualized’s Ladies And Gentleman We Are Floating In Space and ‘Extra Curricular’ is akin to Yo La Tengo on a meditative trip. 

 

The Best Of Times documented here aren’t ecstatic; the record’s strength is in its subtleties. There’s no soaring peak, nor is there an overwhelming emotional swell. 

 

The record possesses a patient, affable flow, which easily prompts repeated listens. It might not dart to the top of your favourite albums pile, although with albums of this nature hasty judgements often get proven wrong. 

 

3.5/5 stars

 

The Best Of Times is out now on Bella Union/[PIAS]

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