According to the band themselves, “What We Do To Feel”, “zeroes in on how hope, hardship, and hurdles have inspired gratitude, with each of the new songs here considering the process of giving genuine purpose to normality. It’s about how life isn’t always defined by seismic shifts but instead by gentle nudges in the right direction, and how squeezing joy from life’s smaller moments can be as satisfying as anything.”
And, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of that going on for us all. What most of us can’t do, though, is turn those thoughts into an album. Step forward Lonely The Brave.
“Long Way” – a very late 90s sounding groove, energy, and bounce. “The Lens” – very much the type of thing that Deaf Havana do, hooks, but with epic ambition, and a feeling that you are intruding on someone’s personal life.
“Our Sketch Out” has a slower, more acoustic, deliberate feel – not too far from Biffy in scope, the way the chorus builds is ready or the big leagues.
The fact that this is a fascinating record is never better shown than on “Victim” where the rhythm of drummer Gavin ‘Mo’ Edgeley is right in the spotlight
“Colour Me Sad” is melancholic, of course, but singer Jack Bennett has a wonderful voice, and there’s something slightly epic and almost grandiose about it, likewise “The Ramp” is right in the middle – bridging the gap between side one and side two in old money – is not the sort of interlude alt-rock albums usually have.
The beauty here is in the margins – “In The Well” lurks, broods, and threatens, but never fully explodes like you think it might, and indeed, this is the type of record that reveals more of itself to you as it goes. “Eventide” for example is not the most immediate song, but it has so much to offer.
The music here is simply superbly done. Everything is so well thought out. The sheer scale of work like “Unseen” impresses, while the inherent sadness that’s been through the album from the start, bursts forth on “The Bear”, “Carry me out, carry me out, all I hear is white noise” goes the first line and there’s a raw emotion here.
And when it reaches its crescendo, it does so in a way that the whole album has been, massive, ambitious, and unpredictable.
It feels like Lonely The Brave stuck everything they had into “What We Do To Feel” and they should feel proud of the outcome – and I reckon if you listen to this record in 12 months, you’d feel different things from it too.