The Districts
You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere


4.0
excellent

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
March 15th, 2020 | 20 replies


Release Date: 03/13/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Breaking through with an emotional magnum opus like it's nothing.

The Districts burst onto my radar in 2017, with Popular Manipulations’ heart-wrenching, firmly rock-rooted brand of folk punk rattling me to my core. They clearly poured their heart into that record, which ended up feeling like a night on the town, drunk off your ass but just knowing you could win your ex back if you could only find the right words. It was the kind of album that ached with you in times of sorrow, and grew to become a daily companion. It was all very real, and very rooted in present pain.

You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere is a different kind of record. It’s still evocative of all these same images: ‘Hey Jo’ wails with the despair of a tear-jerking breakup, ‘Changing’ is a sweepingly sorrowful anthem that hints at the underlying anxiety of the title (“Like some freight elevator slowly sinking deep underground…I can't keep on singing, everybody's changing”), and ‘4th of July’ offers up some downright beautiful morbidity (“We left our bodies on the bank / and when the tide came in they sank / into the blue moon’s glow…”). The core atmosphere of gloom and anguish is just as palpable as ever – but whereas Popular Manipulations stumbled out of a bar, You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere projects its pain onto the big screen. It’s almost cinematic in its progression and production, beaming with a glistening sheen that makes it all sound more histrionic and ambitious than anyone knew The Districts could be.

As such, You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere is by far the band’s most sonically adventurous recording to date. ‘Sidecar’ crashes through the wall at a breakneck pace that explodes with waves of energetic guitar work, falsetto wails, and melodic oohs, while ‘All The Horses Go Swimming’ opens with an accordion that gradually wades into a crystalline pool of string-bound ambience. ‘Descend’ ranks among their most lucid sounding acoustic tracks, each pastoral guitar pluck ringing out with the clarity of a Sufjan folk ballad – all before the entire thing exits into a swirling vortex of whooshing effects and vocal hums. ‘Dancer’ shakes and rattles with strong Eastern vibes that are quickly joined by start-stop synth interjects. Opener ‘My Only Ghost’ almost sounds like a Fleet Foxes hymnal. The spectrum of influences here would be ridiculous if it weren’t for the fact that lead vocalist Rob Grote ties it all together so perfectly with his trademark emotive croons and howls.

The District’s fourth full-length LP marks a new chapter in their career. It sees them emerge from the dark, murky corners of Popular Manipulations with a newfound vigor accompanied by aural dynamics that never used to exist within their music. This thing is momentous; it’s as if they took the depressing air of Frightened Rabbit, swirled it with The National’s penchant for huge crescendos, and then executed it all with the bombast of a Killers’ album. It doesn’t necessarily feel as tattered or heart-on-sleeve as the group’s earlier works, but it’s also far more entertaining. You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere is a breakthrough for The Districts, and it’s already one of the best albums to be released this year.



s
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user ratings (17)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
March 15th 2020


33579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn soundcloud and their 30-second-samples-only. I'm sure those who care will find the album streams.

Digging: Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts VI: Locusts

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2020


3192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ooo. Didn't know this was coming out.

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 16th 2020


33579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Blush didn't know you were a fan too. Thought it was just verdant and I! This is really cool departure for The Districts. Not quite as emotionally viable (but still very), and tons of new sonic qualities alongside improved production.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2020


3192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Was never huuuuge on them, but always interested to see what they're doing. :3 Almost finished the album -- on the closer now -- and I love, love, love how repetitive and drawn out some of the instrumentals are (esp opener and closer); also, that was 44 minutes? Felt much shorter!



Oh, and will make sure to read this when I'm more awake.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2020


3192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Some of this reminds me of less-energetic AJJ. Something about dude's voice.



Oh, and maybe Coldplay's last album, but in a good way I swear...

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 16th 2020


33579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Musically, I can get behind that notion because it's fairly adventurous with little regard for how it will all come together. The vocalist does an amazing job of conveying emotion no matter what's going on though, which helps to make those moments all feel important. Personally, I feel like this is what the Killers would sound like if they were still good :-)

Lucman
March 17th 2020


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is like a mixture of The Killers, Modest Mouse, and Broken Social Scene. It's great. The Clouds is a quick route to cloud 9 that's for sure.

Digging: Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia

dmathias52
March 17th 2020


1157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well this sounds special. My next listen for sure!

Digging: JFDR - New Dreams

SandwichBubble
March 17th 2020


11155 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Didn't know this was coming out. [2]

Will check, good review.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2020


25610 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album art reminds me of Chemical Miracle by Trophy Eyes



Digging: Therapy? - Troublegum

Sunnyvale
March 17th 2020


1378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Spinning this now, I liked their last album

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 17th 2020


33579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Changing is so damn good. 4th of July too.

Those are my top 2 so far, awesome record.

trackbytrackreviews
March 18th 2020


3421 Comments


chemical miracle by trophy eyes [2]

SandwichBubble
March 18th 2020


11155 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Same ol', same ol' for these guys.

Also check the band Delta Spirit if you haven't already.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2020


25610 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

def a cool mixture of styles on here

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 18th 2020


33579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I definitely wouldn't say this is same ol'. They really branch out here.



And I agree, Atari - they're a little all over the map sonically but they're talented enough that it's entertaining rather than annoying. Also the vocalist conveys passion/emotion so well - he's in that National/Frightened Rabbit tier of feels IMO (especially on Change, Hey Jo, and 4th of July).

TabulaRasa6
March 19th 2020


523 Comments


I didn't know this band but somehow I knew Sowing would be the one reviewing it.

Will check out later!

Digging: Model/Actriz - No

WatchItExplode
March 19th 2020


7879 Comments


Knew this was sowing by the review summary alone. Also means I'm bound her enjoy this.

Digging: PEARS - Pears

jcurry094
March 19th 2020


14 Comments


If Sowing's into it, there's a good chance I'll like it. Gonna give this a listen later.

SandwichBubble
March 19th 2020


11155 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"I definitely wouldn't say this is same ol'."

Sorry, I meant my rating cap for these guys still being a 3.0

But honestly, they just went from one dead and dying trend to another with this one.

Still alright though.



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