Singer Gareth David has said that he writes about what he knows and experiences, and feels redeemed when fans can relate constructively. On Scenes, he allows the listener to join in his misery of self-medication, mental illness, dissolving memories, questionable self-worth, and perhaps worst of all, "a largely terrible international football tournament," when England lost to Iceland in the Euro 2016. That sadness combined with the feeling of helplessness inspired the emo-ish lead single "I Broke Up Amarante." Although some of the lyrics are specific to the match, other lyrics, like "Nursed a two-beer buzz four whole weeks / 'Cause it's the only way to feel sane" can translate universally.
For an album full of depressive lyrics, you wouldn't get that impression from the music. The dark experiences are sung in anthemic, chipper melodies. Just listen to the joy in David's voice as he sings, "All these / sick scenes / played out in my memory" on "Here's to the Fourth Time!" The band explained that the album is "also a celebration of just getting to be a band, of getting to play music with our friends." The playful chorus of "oooo"'s that explode as the album begins to spin sets an upbeat, excitable tone. Scenes then gets right to business, tucking its metaphorical head down, sprinting through the second two peppy tracks. By the end of the album, the goal is made clear: cathartic enrichment via grim experiences set to energetic, chant-worthy melodies. March 8th will give you the chance to sing along with their life-affirming mantras, when they headline a superb bill with opener Crying at The TLA.