“It’s okay to change and it’s okay to look to the future. You don’t have to always be the same person that you were, it’s okay to move on and try to be better,” Adam Thompson of We Were Promised Jetpacks (WWPJ) tells American Songwriter. “That’s what I was feeling and thinking during the writing of this [latest] album. I hope that that brings a little bit of comfort to anyone feeling the same way.”
Thompson’s timely encouragement comes on the heels of WWPJ’s recent album titled Enjoy the View. Dropped earlier this month (September 10), the band’s fifth studio album is a 10-track triumph of indie rock with tinges of upbeat pop sounds. Each track swells with irresistible melodies that set listeners at ease in the comfort of positive soundscapes. Logistically, Thompson (vocals, guitar) along with Sean Smith (bass) and Darren Lackie (drums), recorded this album over a few months during the pandemic amid tremendous amounts of change.
“We were sending each other projects just using GarageBand,” Thompson explains. “Then the next day you’d get something back from one of the other guys. It was a really welcome task that we had for that time because it was especially strange when no one knew what was going on and you couldn’t see anyone. It gave me something to focus on.
“So, it was creatively different. It allowed us to approach songwriting in a different way than we usually do. Usually [we write] quite old school with four of us in a practice room and playing off each other. So it was slightly more clinical.”
Surrounded by unusual circumstances, WWPJ embraced being pushed out of its comfort zone. Consequently, Enjoy the View is a timeless record that speaks to our current moment and all of the moments to come.
“Sonically, we tried to make the whole thing a little warmer, and a little easier to listen to,” Thompson says.
“I think a fairly big thing that changed for us is Michael [Palmer], the fourth member, left the band before we started this album,” Thompson continues. “Sonically, Michael always took the band to a place that was guitar-driven and [had] intricate lines and a lot of delays. In a lot of our songs, we would like to build up the tension for a long time. With [Enjoy the View] we wanted to not do that. Rather than try and recreate what Michael would do, we decided to lean in the other way. So, we tried to allow there to be a bit more space.”
This new direction for WWPJ produced standout tracks like “Fat Chance” which strikes an energetic chord with Thompson’s refined wailings. He sings It doesn’t matter where you started / It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from.
The opening track, “Not Me Anymore,” was largely written by Thompson after the band’s fourth album, The More I Sleep the Less I Dream. The song emerged organically and spontaneously to set the tone for the album. Other notable tracks include “Blood, Sweat, Tears” and “If It Happens.”
Listen to Enjoy the View by We Were Promised Jetpacks below.