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Review: Bryde – Like an Island

After catching her at Studio 2 last year, we’ve been a big fan of Bryde. So needless to say we’ve had her debut album Like an Island, on repeat since it came out last week.

Artwork for Like an Island by Bryde
Like an Island, the debut album from Bryde is out now.

Bryde a.k.a Sarah Howells, came to Liverpool last year in support of her EP, simply titled EP2. Almost a year on and she’s now dropped her debut album Like an Island.

The record begins with ‘To Be Brave’, a song about remaining strong, it starts gently and gradually rises as she becomes more urgent about standing tall. It was only a taster of what was to come, with rising tensions and poetic tales of putting yourself first.

Howells has this ability to create an atmosphere where one minute you’re thrashing around to songs like ‘Peace’ but then taking a step back and reflecting when the delicate moments such as ‘Transparent’ begin.

Fronting Bryde, Sarah Howells mesmerised the crowd.
Fronting Bryde, Sarah Howells mesmerised the crowd in Studio 2. Photo by Gary Coughlan.

Not afraid to be playful or aggressive, latest single ‘Less’, opens with a slick beat and a sharp melody. It’s intense and has you on edge, eventually hitting the chorus and it roars to live. Singing about not wanting to let go, When maybe she should; “I’m keen, you’re indifferent. Just like a magnet on your back, no give, no deliverance, like a code I cannot crack, I will love you until it’s done…” It’s a wickedly fun song and an immediate highlight.

The fragile moments on Like an Island, are some of Bryde’s most beautiful moments, laying feelings bare with stunning lyrics but also with the way she handles her guitar. With songs like ‘Fast Awake’ or ‘Steady Heart’, she creates such an atmosphere that’s hypnotic with the mesmerising guitar play.

 

Bryde’s poetic ways of sharing stories of love and heartbreak, independence and more is captivating. It’s a beautiful debut from Bryde that’s worthy of your time.

Songs worth putting on repeat: ‘Less’, ‘Peace’, ‘Fast Awake’ and ‘Transparent’.

Verdict: 9/10

Like an Island, the debut album from Bryde is out now.

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