Mostly we’ve talked about how it feels like a return to the group’s pinnacle of The Man Who. I know what you’re thinking, that UK lineage: Travis begat Coldplay who begat Keane who begat countless other imposters. But I will defend Travis to the death.
Where these others feel contrived and forced in their writing, I get the sense of pure sincerity and emotion from Travis. Normally, my cynicism would not allow me to take Fran Healy’s introduction of My Eyes in this KCRW session without a bit of an eye roll: “I wrote this song the day I found out we were going to have a baby.” Corny but sincere.
If you have the time, listen to the interview. It’s revealing in how Travis functions, not only as a band but as friends. The guys talk about how they took a hiatus – I thought the 2005 compilation of singles was the death knell – because the foundation of the band was what great friends they were. But they had to step back and reassess after starting to think of each member as one-quarter of a business.
Needless to say, Healy says the band “has the hunger back.” They wrote 41 songs during the break, recording 21 for The Boy With No Name; 12 made the cut (two bonus tracks come on iTunes version).
Travis, live on KCRW, 7/24/07:
Eyes Wide Open
Up the Junction (Squeeze cover)
Love Will Come Through
All I Want to Do Is Rock
Also be sure to check out selfishjean.com, where, according to Healy, you can “report or confess random acts of selfishness through written confession/report, photographs or video, grade how selfish you think your act was and judge other reports.”