When the Spectrals began in 2009, they were essentially the solo project of the Heckmondwike Yorkshire, UK-based Louis Jones, who played every instrument on the band’s earliest records released through labels such as Captured Tracks, Tough Love, Underwater People and Moshi Moshi. At some point, Louis recruited his brother Will to play drums. and several touring members of the band joined and left. The band released their debut effort, Bad Penny through Slumberland Records in North America and Wichita Recordings across the rest of the world, and Bad Penny was critically acclaimed – Pitchfork, and NME wrote some glowing reviews for Louis Jones’s songwriting. 

Naturally, with a critically well-received album under their belts, the response by critics and fans is usually along the lines of – well, what next? Sob Story the band’s sophomore effort will see a June 18th release here in the States and the rest of North America through Slumberland. The album reportedly displays Louis Jones’ diverse influences and interests – BIg Star, the Rolling Stones, Nick Lowe, Tom Petty – and perhaps much more importantly Elvis Costello. After listening to the album’s first single, “Milky Wy,” I was struck by how it bore an uncanny resemblance to Elvis Costello but also, interestingly enough the Smithereens – rock heavily influenced by 60s soul and R&B.