One of the aspects I love about music is how it can make one feel. I also love how we can associate an album or song with something. These have always been two elements that stand out about music to me. Two years ago I was introduced to a band from Richmond, VA and upon first listen I didn’t feel anything or like what I heard. Three months later I was told to listen to said band again and what do you know, I fell in love with what I heard. I was instantly hooked. For the next few months at any given point, you could find me listening to Broadside. That year I managed to see them a few times and I interviewed them for the first time. That year Old Bones was my 2nd top album of 2015. Fast forward to the end of 2016, almost a year to the date since our first interview, I was interviewing the guys and they mentioned they were hitting the studio soon and that the album would be a small change for them. Since that night in November, I was looking forward to the release. It was my most anticipated release of 2017. A few months later I started seeing press for the album and instantly I was reminded of summer. It was the color scheme mostly. And then I learned that the name of the new album would be Paradise. Perfect!!!
Paradise kicks off with “Hidden Colors”. This is an ode to the women in our lives. A reminder of how amazing they are and how they should be loved and revered. There is a line that goes, “She’s perfect undoubtedly worth it, a rising sun at daybreak feels worthless. Self-doubt in her mirror now. But doesn’t reflect how she’s perfect on more than the surface” To me that is poetry at its best about someone you love. You can tell that vocalist Ollie Baxxter wrote this with someone in mind. And she is a very lucky lady. Baxxter’s writing has always been one aspect of Broadside that I have loved and he has upped it on this album. In the same song, there is a lyric that goes, “The moment you woke up, wish I could hang you up like art, like Van Gogh’s stars”. That is something straight from the Romantic era. It’s beautiful. The next track is “Paradise”. This is one that I really enjoy. Sometimes I feel that we get lost in everyday life and we forget about what makes us happy, our paradise. The chorus in this song says it all, “Go chase your paradise into the waves. This tide will carry you, don’t run away. Light a fire that burns through the whole night. You will shine brighter than the sunrise”. Another aspect that sticks out in this song are the vocals of guitarist Dorian Cooke. He adds another element not only to this song but to the band as a whole. Speaking of vocals, one of the best tracks on the album, “Laps around a Picture Frame”, features the aforementioned Baxxter and Cooke but Second Guitarist Niles Gibbs joins in on the fun. This is the track that stuck out most to me when I first heard the album, simply because of the vocals. All three guys have distinct voices and it works here. They all could front bands on their own. We have heard Cooke’s voice before but never at the forefront in this manner. This kid has some pipes on him. And as far as Gibbs goes, his screams fit right in. When Broadside decided to release this song last week the response was insane and I loved reading all the positive responses to it. Fans are already loving this song. And that’s a good sign. Another standout track is “Summer Stained”. The delivery of this song just puts me at ease. It’s relaxing and serious at the same time. I dig that. At the start of this, I mentioned how I like that music can make me feel a certain way. The last track, “I Love you I love you It’s Disgusting” does that. When I hear this song, I can’t help but smile and cry a little. It is a beautiful song about love. The ukulele adds another layer and it fits the album like a glove. It’s the perfect end track. In my head, all I see is someone playing the ukulele and singing this to his girl while on a beach, their “Paradise”. How amazing is that?
I was not sure what to expect when they told me in that last interview that this album would be a little different. I didn’t think they would change a lot, I just didn’t know which way they would go with it. I knew it would still be a great album, I still knew it would be Broadside. I had no idea it would be this good. These guys are not going to have to worry about that “sophomore slump” as this album very well might be better than “Old Bones”. This is a band that has grown a lot in two years and it shows on this release. I am excited for the world to hear this masterpiece, as it is going to touch a lot of people, it’s going to change lives. In closing all I have to say is go chase your paradise and enjoy the summer, as this will serve as your soundtrack. <3