Elevate Difference

Quiet Little Voices single

Hyped-up Scottish indie rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks have been around since 2003, but are only now releasing their debut album, These Four Walls (out June 15 in the UK and July 9 in the U.S.). They opened for fellow Scots Frightened Rabbit in 2008, and that connection led them to their deal with Fat Cat Records.

The single “Quiet Little Voices” opens with a restless guitar line that is soon joined by a pulsing bass line, frenetic cymbals, and Adam Thompson’s powerful, lightly accented vocals (his brogue is much stronger on some of the band’s other material). Despite being over four minutes long, the song doesn’t have much substance; if you know the title, you know the majority of the lyrics, as each line of the first (and only) verse starts with those three words, and the refrain consists of the same words backed by a rousing chorus of whoa-oh’s. When it sounds like the second verse should come in, a brief return to the intro instead leads into a second round of the chorus, and then a third. It’s lazy songwriting that manages to get by on charm and stadium-ready glory; it’s not hard to imagine a room full of people grabbing their friends and singing along with fervor, even though the lyrics are so repetitive and don’t really mean anything.

With its memorable hook and anthemic quality, it’s easy to understand why “Quiet Little Voices” was chosen as a single. However, it’s not nearly as strong as the other tracks from These Four Walls that were made available online in advance of the album’s release, which are less formulaic and boast copious amounts of Scottish charm.

Written by: Kiri Oliver, August 20th 2009