Saint Etienne are making the best music of their quarter-century career. Freed from the pressures of worrying their single might stall at No 41, they record now only when they have something to say – like AC/DC, Saint Etienne make an album every five or six years, and if you want to hear it, you have to wait.
Saint Etienne still believe in pop, and their ninth album Home Counties is delicious restatement of core values – if anything, it’s a more accomplished return to the sound and working methods of the Saint Etienne so many people fell in love with in the early 1990s, aided by producer Shawn Lee (Young Gun Silver Fox). “It’s a return to the way we used to write stuff,” Wiggs says, “singing stuff back to him and asking if he could recreate it. Which he could.”