Deep,dense music that comes straight from the heart: that’s what Welsh-born Sarah Howell’s solo project Bryde brings to the world.
In her debut full-length album Like An Island, Bryde explores a range of emotions, whether hesitant or with a fierce clarity.
The 11-track album starts off with blustering, slow-burning opener ‘To Be Brave’, starting as a tender, smooth melody with poignant lyricism, then reaching a jagged climax with angry guitars and banging percussions.The heart-felt intent of the opener is then backed by ‘Less’; with a strong bass line and anguished vocals, the song is one with purpose.
Another track that stands out is ‘Euphoria’, a piano-led melody within the lyrics of which nestle the title of the album. It’s a song that talks about tackling pressure, admits to suffering but standing strong, not one to truckle to the struggle. It contains possibly the most crucial element of Howell’s art: her defiance to carry on in the face of adversity.
The record combines tender compliance with spiky, fierce dissonance. It offers an inscape of calm vocals mixing with volatile musicality. For example, ‘Peace’ offers a push and pull between quiet tenderness and loud disharmony, and is a thrilling track, as does ‘Fast Awake’, which keeps your attention piqued with a diaspora of feathery vocals blending with a tireless rhythm.
Other highlights within the album are the guitar-heavy and passionate ‘To Be Loved’ and ‘Desire’, both aptly named, exploring passion, nuanced with unbounded energy and intense musical textures.
Emotive and personable, Like An Island, from beginning to end remains memorable.
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