Posts Tagged ‘Like An Island’

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Pembrokeshire-born now London-based Bryde aka Sarah Howells is a woman with an electric guitar playing fierce and fragile songs. Swaying from vulnerable to uncompromising within one verse and chorus, Bryde’s music is honest and furiously authentic. Here she is performing songs from her 2018 debut album ‘Like an Island’. An Album that has been released to a host of glowing reviews, many comparing her to the likes of Radiohead, The XX, Warpaint, and Jeff Buckley. The album reached No.38 in the Official Indie Chart. Accompanied with a sold-out London show and a 35 headline tour of Europe followed by a long list of summer festivals and support shows with Joy Formidable. Bryde is on a roll and appears to have no intention of slowing down.

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Like An Island’ is the debut album from Bryde. Having spent the last 2 years building a solid fanbase and recognisable sound, this body of work showcases her stunning mix of light and dark, beautiful and heart-breaking, isolated and communal. ‘Like An Island’ was written between London and LA and credits include Bill Ryder Jones, Catherine J Marks (Wolf Alice, St Vincent, PJ Harvey) & Mandy Parnell (The XX).

‘Like An Island’ is released on the 13th of April via Bryde’s own label Seahorse Music. Bryde founded it to publish records by like-minded women and help make them more visible in a male-dominated industry. A sensibility of deep emotion and unbridled nature, not unlike that of Kate Bush, infuses Bryde’s work. This is her first album, but her previous two EPs are also top-notch. Her music lies at the mysterious nexus of folk, pop, and alternative rock.

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Bryde will set off on her biggest UK, IRE and EU tour so far. It’s a sprawling 30 date stretch in April and May that will see her peddling her inimitable brand of incisive lyricism and raucous rock and roll to her widest audience yet. This will be followed by a summer of festivals including Latitude, Boardmaster, Y Not, Standon Calling and more.

Classy, mature pop/rock from Sarah Howells – the mesmeric voice of Paper Aeroplanes. Featuring excellent songwriting and fine production, “Like an Island” is top quality music from beginning to end.

Emotion is central to Welsh-born Sarah Howells’ solo project Bryde, whether potently exalted, or hushed and tempered, Howells expresses with ferocious clarity and a strength of being that could withstand a hurricane. The full-length debut album collects a selection of already-released singles alongside a host of rather impressive new cuts, proudly chest baring the title: Like An Island.

The record lifts its title from a lyric nestled in track six [‘Euphoria’], illustrating the importance of language and meaning within the Bryde universe.”Coming out of the dark like an island,” Howells delivers hesitantly over a raw minor-key melody that incrementally softens to reach a blustered resilience. In a song which tackles internal darkness as an effort to overcome struggle, there’s something very admirable and inspiring to name a record in response to this acutely human pain: To admit the suffering but resist breaking under pressure. Possibly the most crucial element of Howells’ songcraft is her urgency and defiance to carry on, to never yield or break in spite of adversity. It is a powerful resistance that echoes great resonance to all who heed Howells’ sincere verse.

The record carefully allies tenderness adjacent to spiky dissonance, fragrant imagery with calmness of voice, transparency with volatile tugs of musicality. Bryde’s world is a harsh one but true, moments of comfort and recline rarely break through during its run-time, yet once they do, they offer versatility for the artist [‘Steady Heart‘ being one of these languid trailblazers]. Other highlights include blustery slow-burner ‘To Be Brave,’ wild-riffer ‘Flesh, Blood and Love‘ and crowd-pleasing tension-builder ‘Handstands.’

Howells masterfully examines the human condition on Like An Island: the self-editing, destructiveness, liberation, resilience, and overwhelming self-discovery. Told from a place of intimacy and recorded closely to detail every slight change in tone or cadence, Howells expertly captures the breadth of feeling the songs convey. Storms brew and distill a sensational, idiosyncratic performer on tracks like ‘Less‘ and ‘Peace.’ Through push and pull of heavy intensity vs. steady tranquility, the tracks offer a refreshing polarity in what makes Bryde’s work so interesting and compelling – as well as the prospect that each song structure will provide a plethora of twists and turns for its listener.

Although billed as a solo project, the landscape in which Bryde works is vast and expansive, and cannot be resigned to the makings of one single individual [the full-band live shows are just one example of this]. Howells heads the ship but she is one of many working behind the scenes to create this visceral exploration, with Catherine Marks and Mandy Parnell respectively assisting with mixing and mastering the album. Nevertheless, Howells writes and performs these songs – every word, every instrumental, every arrangement has poured out of her mind and onto the page, and this achievement alone deserves acknowledgement and due credit.

Like An Island in no respect feels like a debut record. Its astute self-awareness is not to be taken lightly, sculpting a passionate presentation of indie rock and singer-songwriter grit, fortified by a vocal ability of exceptional presence and a credibility that assures the artist’s longevity. Like An Island is a record of the heart: Sometimes heady, sometimes peaceful, sometimes restless – but never quiet.

‘Like An Island’ is released on 13th April 2018 via Seahorse Music

Bryde is Pembrokeshire-born, London-based Sarah Howells and an electric guitar, singing fierce and fragile songs about entangling and unravelling. Earning comparisons to Sharon Van Etten, PJ Harvey and Jeff Buckley, her powerful vocals, sharp, evocative lyricism and searing guitar tones have won plaudits.

“Wait” and “Help Yourself” from her debut EP were lauded by blogs and supported by Radio 1, BBC Introducing in Wales.

Summer 2016 saw Bryde perform at a number of UK festivals, including Green Man, Dot to Dot and How The Light Gets In, as well as embark on a whistle-stop tour of the US, taking in New York, Nashville and LA.

Whilst in LA she recorded a song for EP2 with Rufus Wainwright’s producer Chris Sorem. She then completed the EP recording three songs with Bill Ryder-Jones at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool. Its two singles, ‘Honey’, and Wouldn’t That Make You Feel Good? have already seen radio support from BBC 6music,

Bryde’s first offering is a tender, wiry piece of tearjerk folk-pop. The swirling, swollen textures and rippling electric guitars “..atmosphere builds, and twinkling teardrops of light appear – an electronic sound that somehow feels totally organic. If this is Bryde’s early work, there’s plenty to look forward to”.

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