Nothing Touches Me is the fifth album release from Melbourne alternative rock group British India. I love listening to an album where the artist seems to have put real thought into the structure of the track list as a whole, and Nothing Touches Me delivers in this respect. It’s an uplifting album without being too optimistic, and it also gives doses of reality without being depressing. And let’s face it, that cover art is pretty cool too.
I read that British India play “tough but melodic garage influenced rock” (Allmusic.com), which is a pretty spot on observation. The opening track “Spider Chords” gives insight into this. Variations on the vocals, layers of chords, the building drums, and the big guitar riffs near the end all make this a great track. This song is apparently about falling in love with the same person twice, but honestly I just like the poetic lyrics that aren’t really telling a clear story, just for their quality and point of difference.
“Suddenly” is a simple but awesome song about the feeling when love first hits you. The big drums and loud, loveable chorus make this track a stand out. “Blame It All On Me” challenges your instincts and makes for an interesting track. The echoing intro with steady drums and a building beat imply that the song is going somewhere happy and uplifting, but then you realise that the lyrics are actually incredibly sad. “Jay Walker” adds a nice slow pace song for the middle of the album. The title track “Nothing Touches Me” has a more classic garagey sound, with strained vocals and a more intense use of the guitars and drums. All of the components fit really well together to showcase a total Nothing Touches Me theme. A final stand out for me is “This is How it Feels” which tells a story, and adds another nice change of pace to the album.
This album isn’t trying to be epic or life-changing—but because the album as a whole is so good it becomes better than the ordinary. The range of songs showcases the band’s ability to build an album for listening to from start to finish. British India’s talented lyrics, vocals, and layers of tones and chords set this apart as well. I would recommend it if you like a bit of low key alternative rock—and you’re not expecting the next Bob Dylan or Kings of Leon.
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