To say I was not overjoyed to receive an album by a band I hated for a good 20 plus years due to the behaviour of part of the band audience in the late 80's or was it early 90's when Momus was unlucky enough to support them is putting things mildly.
But I had started to thaw towards them having been persuaded to see the new version of the band play live in 2013 in far less violent circumstances than the previous shows I saw first time around.
So any album that opens with the words scientific rationalism isn't going to be aiming for the pop charts but The Revivalist Impulse is a cool slice of intelligent shimmer pop with Johnny Brown's vocals sounding like a well-seasoned Richard Butler who is reminiscing about the good old days or is that the bad old days. Yes they want to bring back those days even if not all of us would want to return to some of them.
To Leave Or Remain has some lovely trumpet playing as they ask about how you make the decision to leave or remain either in Europe or a relationship dependant on who's listening and why, the backing is wonderfully understated and Johnny's vocals are more late period Marc Almond kind of on this but it's really all about that trumpet for me.
A Lonesome Dove has another great opening line of I smashed my head into the kerb before the music gently caresses you and the lyrics tell a rather violent tale of hurt and despair as the Lonesome Dove tries to broker a peace between the parties.
The Song Of Casual Indifference with the repeated mantra of you're going to walk away from me can either be taken as a plea to a departing lover or the words of the EU leaders trying to understand why we'd chose to hit the Brexit button. It all gently unfurls over a super restrained backing and what I think is a wonderful organ sound.
A Connecting Ticket is almost fey enough to stray into Prefab Sprout territory but thankfully those keys keep it far more interesting than that and the lyrics that as with all of this album make you sit and listen to them to work out if they are personal or political or a mix of the two with few other concepts thrown in for good measure.
The Song Of Passionate Intensity has a feel so familiar that it feels like a cover version when it isn't as far as I can tell, and when the gentle croon gives way to the keyboard led ending I wish it would go on a good bit longer than it does.
A Beautiful Cat is a song about defending not having any faith and wondering what the hell is going on in the world, this is intelligent questioning indie pop that needs a good few listens to really get through to its point but like most of the album it rewards repeated listening.
The album closes with the title track Funambulist We Love You and the question is who is the funambulist in question and as it's a female one it's not Phillipe Petit! But it's a gentle caress of a love song to a love that has disappeared and a song about walking between two tower blocks has some rather tough resonances in the year of Grenfell. Even so it's lovely end to what is a really good album.
Find out more at http://www.bandofholyjoy.co.uk/ https://tinyglobalproductions.bandcamp.com/