The Neighbourhood’s debut album “I Love You” begins boldly. “How could you question God's existence when you question God himself?” That’s the first lyric in the opening track “How.” From there, the Californian quintet starts a record filled with heavy existentialist themes about love and hate told in a light indie pop fashion.
The Neighbourhood may spell their band name with a ‘u’, but they are an American group from California. Their Los Angeles origins seem fitting for them. L.A. is the city of angels and seems to gleams with gold, but that is merely the surface. Underneath the shine is a gritty underbelly. Los Angeles is filled with movie stars and pollution; glamour and corruption. The Neighbourhood’s message may seem to ooze with disgust and melodrama; however, there is an incredibly polished surface.
Although Lead vocalist Jesse Rutherford sings with venom, spitting out lyrics like "You make me wanna scream at the top of my lungs/It hurts but I won’t fight you/You suck anyway/You make me wanna die,” they are a band bursting with theatrics. During live performances, they request to only be photographed in black and white, much like their stylish, film noir music videos and their chic album artwork.
They criticize their Southern California roots in track number four off “I Love You”, 'Sweater Weather’. “I hate the beach/But I stand/In California with my toes in the sand.” The lead single is the most pleasant song on the album. With a commanding beat and affable lyrics, 'Sweater Weather' is a near perfect piece of pop.
“I Love You” is a strong unveiling for The Neighborhood. It is up in the air where they can go from here. They could become gloomier; they could become glossier. For now though, The Neighbourhood is the new darling ingénue of the indie scene.
You can hear The Neighbourhood on Sound Waves from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. on WFIT 89.5 fm