‘Like an Island’ is a personable, evocative, and impressive record.
Label: Seahorse Music
Released: 13th April 2018
Always otherworldly and ethereal, Bryde’s atmospheric soundscapes reach boiling point with debut record ‘Like an Island’. Dripping with mysticism and transcendental sounds and images, Bryde invokes the aesthetics of her native Wales throughout her album.
With a soulful, treacly vocal style, Bryde’s lyrics are nonchalantly poignant. Opener ‘To Be Brave’ concerns itself with just that; it is a soft, sorrowful story of a self-worth and often unsavoury conclusions. Second track, the already-released ‘Less’ is unapologetic, with fierce guitars and a tumultuous hook. Densely crafted and smoothly written, ‘Less’ showcases struggles with passive lovers, but the track is everything but acquiescent. Barbed lyrics “And it’s such a shame ‘cause no one can see/You like nothing more than to care less”, amongst others, strike passion into the charged album.
Over the course of the record, Bryde juggles her mystical soundscapes and unapologetic guitars with pristine skill. There are moments of infectious beats and danceable choruses, of soft vocals and wisps of electronica. ‘Fast Awake’ is an energetic yet dark track, taking elements from Radiohead tracks ‘Bodysnatchers’ and ‘Myxomatosis’ in its powerful coalescence of haunting vocals and rapid percussion. Bryde invokes the ambience of Warpaint and emotion of Laura Marling in her impressive debut; namely in ‘Euphoria’, a piano-led ballad, and ‘To Be Loved’, a track saturated with power and ferocity.
The mystic and turbulent atmospheres Bryde creates over the eleven tracks on ‘Like and Island’ conjure powerful snapshots of relatable struggles. The heady combination of dreamlike stories and dense instrumentals makes ‘Like an Island’ a personable, evocative, and impressive record. Erin Bashford