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Bryde: Like An Island

review bryde x1 cong

A lot of whether you like a song is down to the vocals: love the voice and you’ll like the music and vice versa (hence our apathy to Arctic Monkeys).

Bryde’s voice is mesmerising and we love it. It’s strong but sounds vulnerable, and she reminded us of Paula Cole (Where Have All The Cowboys Gone) in that she does loud and very loud while always sounding tuneful. She’s got proper attitude, too. The music is equally loud indie, though in the style of Death Cab it often starts quietly and builds: opener To The Brave starts off with a hush but ends a shoegazer-ish racket we can imagine is great live, the band getting louder and swaying to the music and intently whacking their instruments and effects pedals. It’s the kind of epic loudness that will make you pause while listening, to reflect how good it is.

Less is more of the same, opening with throbbing guitar and Bryde singing slightly deeply, with a tight, riffy chorus. She does what she does, so the sound doesn’t vary but she’s got that cliched Welsh feel for the music. (She’s Welsh, obviously).

Lyrically it seems to be about weighty topics of female independence and liberation — it is out on Bryde’s own independent and female-favouring Seahorse Music label — and we picked a couple of lyrics at random, “Carry on regardless / So you don’t get swallowed up by the darkness” was one, “When you’ve got nothing to give / Turn up the filter, don’t admit it” was another. Powerful indie with intelligent lyrics.


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