A lot can happen in the course of two years. People walk out of your life, people special to you -
people it's difficult to imagine your world without. Sometimes, they come back. But when they do,
they're not who they once were. Soft features have chiseled. That teenage flush around the cheeks has
faded. And suddenly, that ghost that mooched around inside your head is gone, replaced by something,
Hello Sadness is the fourth record by Los Campesinos! and if 2009's Romance Is Boring marked a
giant step on from their genesis - seven kids and a glockenspiel, ricocheting off the four walls of a
Cardiff rehearsal room - Hello Sadness constitutes another step, and a turn of the corner. Yes, these 10
tracks cover what we are coming to recognize as core Los Campesinos! concerns - love, loss,
heartbreak, football (always football). But this is a record that's wiser and more focused than its
predecessors, confident in its abilities and clear in its aims.
"It feels like we've done all our growing up while in this band," says vocalist Gareth Campesinos!
"Not like we're Hanson, or anything. But we've been Los Campesinos! since finishing university, and
in that time we've all changed as people massively. That's something we want to put across in the
"We've learned what there's room for, sonically," adds guitarist/songwriter Tom Campesinos! "You
start off quite idealistic about what you can actually fit into a song, everything fighting against
everything else, and that's fine, it suited those songs. But now it's like everything is pulling towards
the same goal. The idea was to make the most coherent, direct record we can."
Initial plans to record at Manic Street Preachers' Faster Studios in Cardiff fell by the wayside when a
couple of European shows opened up a new possibility: four weeks at Music Lan, a recording studio in
Girona, overlooking the Pyrenees. The Los Campesinos! line-up had undergone a couple of reshuffles
since the recording of Romance Is Boring, Kim Campesinos! joining on backing vocals and keys,
Jason Campesinos! taking the drumstool and long-time compadre Rob Taylor - aka Sparky Deathcap -
giving up his surname to join LC! in what Tom describes as "the Bob Nastanovich role," singing
backing vocals and juggling instruments as required.
The Spanish countryside, so far from Cardiff with all its myriad distractions, proved the perfect place
to rekindle the Campesinos! spirit, and the arrival of producer John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney,
Bikini Kill, Wu Tang Clan), a constant with the band since the recording of We Are Beautiful, We Are
Doomed, closed the circle. "There was this real team ethic," says Tom. "It felt like everyone came
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