Model Village's third album, “Healing Centre” strives to unite all forms of pop music into a melodic, unpretentious whole. Influenced by Jim O’Rourke, Prefab Sprout, Yo La Tengo, Steely Dan, Red House Painters, and Camera Obscura, the group pull the threads together into their most compelling record to date, their first full-length with vocalist Lily Somerville.
Conceived at a time when almost the entire group were trying to change various frustrating aspects of their lives, the songs on “Healing Centre” encapsulate a range of responses to disheartening situations. One the one hand, disappointment, regret, and resentment all feature, but hope, relief, and the anticipation of escape break through. With repeated doses of bathos and black humour; subjects as diverse as creepy internet dating, being let down by friends, dementia, crap films, nostalgia, and railing at the blindly self-obsessed, are set to almost incongruously upbeat, jangly guitar riffs and tight, driving unfussy rhythms, finished off with a smidgen of sophistipop keyboards.
“Healing Centre”, a name taken from one of Cambridge’s most joyless-looking buildings, was mostly recorded in London’s only floating recording studio, Lightship95, moored at the mouth of the River Lea.
Consciously more groove-orientated than Model Village’s previous records, “Healing Centre” is a set of smart commuter pop gems with just that bit more grit and potency than their contemporaries can offer.