The rapid rise of Sarah Howell’s indie solo project Bryde can be put down to a lot of hard work, her loyal and widening fan base and her willingness to wear her heart on her sleeve with songs that we can all relate to. It is no accident that Bryde’s album Like An Island topped my list as best album of 2018. It was without a doubt one of last year’s triumphs. In just over thirty-nine minutes, it showcased everything that was exciting and fresh about Bryde, where she seemingly switches between the raw energy of indie rock and her sombre folkier leanings. But above all, it is her infectious vocals and emotive lyrics that reel you in.
A song with a message can be powerful, often enough of a push in the right direction to inspire us, make us feel good or even snap us out of our slumber. Sometimes we also need a little reassurance that things will get better or even simply knowing that there is someone out there that understands you or has shared a similar experience. I guess that is one of the reasons why Bryde’s music has such a hold on me. It’s emotive, moody and rousing all at once.
There are a number of tracks from Like An Island that would easily slot in nicely into this new series, but the one track that speaks volumes about facing times of trouble or adversity is To Be Brave. I don’t know that I can do it anymore justice by explaining what it is about. Bryde does a pretty good job of it all on her own.
Here’s what Bryde has to say about her song: “To Be Brave was written as kind of a soft squeeze of the hand to many friends who have, like me, been through many a dark period and put on a brave face and just got on with it. It’s a comment about how we all live out certain episodes of our lives in such a public setting these days that I feel we almost edit them to appear flawless, nothing but smiles.”
For more on Bryde, check out her interview with Selector Radio, where she talks about finding her independence as a solo musician and some of her great tips for new songwriters wanting to follow in her footsteps. But first listen to To Be Brave here below. Enjoy!
A deeply moving track, and her vocals are stunning!