It’s hard to believe that Travis’s breakthrough sophomore album, The Man Who, came out almost a decade and a half ago. It’s even harder to imagine that at the time, NME said releasing the mellow, introspective album would be “career suicide” for the Scottish band, whose full-length debut Good Feeling had been much more rambunctious. The Man Who just didn’t sound like the Travis fans had known, and it didn’t sound anything else out at the time.
Yet The Man Who went on to basically to set the template for the British adult-alternative mini-invasion of the early 2000s; acts like Keane, Snow Patrol, and even Coldplay owe a debt of gratitude to Travis for opening doors for them, on both sides of the pond.
Fourteen years and five more excellent albums later, Travis find themselves once again out of step with the times. Having taken a five-year hiatus between the recently released Where You Stand and their last long-player, Ode to J. Smith, they exist now in a market where, with a couple exceptions, guitar bands are sadly unfashionable. But the title of Travis’s new album, the first issued on their own record label, Red Telephone Box, says it all: Travis know who they are, and they know where they stand. They’re still making timeless (not trendy) music, and it’s great to have them back.
Travis’s Fran Healy, Andy Dunlop, Dougie Payne, and Neil Primrose recently came by Yahoo Music to play songs from Where You Stand along with one The Man Who classic, “Writing to Reach You,” then sat down with us to reflect on their long and iconoclastic career. Let’s hope they don’t wait another five years between albums.