AMP Magazine has been a big fan of Sarah Howells for a number of years. From her time with Paper Aeroplanes through to her evolution in to Bryde, none of our admiration and respect has been lost for this truly divine songwriter who really should be a household name throughout the world.
The Volume of Things is Bryde’s latest offering to the world. In a world where it is far too easy to look for playlists and skip from song to song, The Volume of Things reminds us of the lost art of putting on an album, allowing it to play from beginning to end and cherish every sound that you hear. The album seems to be dealing with themes of finding your place in the world, reflecting upon who you are, starting over again, dealing with emotions that are deep inside, accepting who you are and not letting anyone try to change you. I may be completely wrong with those thoughts, Sarah may have had vastly different ideas whilst writing these songs, however, that is the beauty of songs once they are out in the public domain, they are there for us all to devour and interpret in a way that makes sense to us.
The opening vocal on ‘Silence’ will instantly grab your attention. We don’t have to wait long for the infectious chorus to grab hold of you and make you start asking those questions as to why is this album not selling by the millions. ‘The Trouble Is’ is another fine example of combining vocals, melodies, hooks, percussion, strings, allowing each sound to collide into each other treating the listener to a very enjoyable experience. The opening to ‘Done’ will see those shivers start working their way throughout your body. The lyrics see Sarah asking those questions about choices made in life “through my mistakes and indecisions”. This album was recorded before COVID 19, however we can all take inspiration from the lyrics “Stay Stong, Stay Well”
If you ever want inspiration in how to write songs, you can’t go wrong when you write with emotion, passion and experiences you have been through. ’80 Degrees’ sees Sarah deal with an ending of a relationship. There are so many lyrics I could draw your attention to in this song, however I will limit it to two lines so as not to spoil the pleasure you will get when you hear this song “Your fancy gifts were the first to go, All the charity shops round here know me by name” “All the things we said we wanted, don’t want them anymore”. ‘Flies’ follows next with a moody, atmospheric sound that will guarantee your undivided attention.
This review could continue to tell you how amazing each and every song is here, however, I am sure you have better things to be doing with your time than reading every word I write and I don’t want to take up too much more of your time when you really should be listening to ‘The Volume of Things’ for yourself. I will try and give a few more thoughts before leaving including a nod to the eeriness of ‘Another Word for Free’. ‘Outsiders’, which exudes a great deal of confidence and determination about knowing what it is you want and not let anyone stop you. Many of us have felt an emotion take control of us and we need to let it out. Sarah has so eloquently captured this in a great piece of music. ‘The Volume of Things’ allows the listener to drift away to a very peaceful place as the album comes to a majestic end that ensures you will come back to this record on many more occasions during the course of your life.