‘16 Beat’ is quite literally a track dedicated to Mount’s favourite drum pattern – an aural feast of powerful, textural production that purposefully forgoes any kind of real lyrical depth, and uses its title as a slightly twee prommy pun instead. ‘Miami Logic’ delves into sawtooth edged guitar solos, while ‘Night Owl’ ducks and swans about, busying itself with waltzing ambition. ‘Hang Me Out to Dry,’ meanwhile, stands up as the best of the entire bunch, inviting giant Robyn into the mix, and soundtracking dancefloor swell with pulsing, swaying euphoria.
Nodding strongly towards everything from Hall & Oates, to Justice, and Patrice Rushen, and flaunting all of Mount’s influences without a hint of irony, Summer ‘08’ is from start to finish, a back to basics, pure-pop odyssey.
The album opens with the jerky post-punk guitars and discordant backing vocals of ‘Back Together’, which sees our put-upon hero dreaming about being reunited with someone he once had lunch with. It’s all very Sparks. Then the song explodes into a synth-powered sunburst of melody and all worries that ‘Summer 08’ might be some dreary Streets-style whine about tour buses, hotels and being interviewed are dispelled.
‘Old Skool’ is something to do with Mount, who lived in East London in 2008, being jealous of posh musicians who lived in West London. “You keep your friends / I’ll keep my friends” he waspishly intones over a fluttering electronic loop.
Meanwhile, Robyn brings some Swedish pop inflection to ‘Hang Me Out To Dry’ and the result is an alternation between melancholy verse – all minor key digital washes – and the pulsing wall of noise chorus. The album’s best moment is ‘Mick Slow’, which sees Mount channelling the smeared, fretless bass style of ’80s pop intellectuals Japan on a genuinely moving song about missing people.
Downsides? There really aren’t any. Mount has done it again. He could write music about the impact of Brexit on the UK’s trade with China and make it sound amazing. He’s that good.