The Selecter - Daylight (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Selecter

Daylight (2017)

DMF Music

The Selecter are one of the few bands left from the second wave of ska that are still going strong, both in the studio and on the road. It’s easy to see why after listening to Daylight, it becomes clear that after over 30 years, multiple lineup changes, at least one breakup, and a few hiatuses the band can still do it. They still feel like a band that is hungry, it might be more polished than it was in 1980. But, when you spend over thirty years doing anything, you get better at it.

The entire album has a ferocity that wasn’t as present on 2015’s Subculture. When you combine that ferocity with the lyrics, you definitely get the feeling that co-vocalists Pauline Black and Arthur “Gaps” Hendrickson have picked up their fair share of newspapers in the past year. The socio-political sensibilities in their lyrics can be found in songs like “Frontline,” “Pass the Power,” “Taking Back Control,” and a few others depending on how you interpret them.

Even when the band steps back from the socio-political content, the fire still remains. While songs about lost love are frequently sad, when Black does it on “3 Reasons,” she sound angry with the man, and possibly herself, as she attacks a man who has left her behind.

This is a great album, and despite being released in October, would have been the perfect summer soundtrack for Trump’s America in 2017. It is powerful and swells with anger, not just at the systems that exist in the world around all of us. But, also at the lives we all must live within that world. The voices of both vocalists sound more aged than they did even two years ago, and it is very effective. The band and the vocalists are all in tune with one another, this is a band firing on all cylinders. No, it’s not as vital or revolutionary as it would have been thirty years ago. But, that doesn’t change the fact this is one of the better ska albums of 2017.