Every Bad by Porridge Radio – Album Review

Every Bad by Porridge Radio – Album Review

Every Bad, the second album from Brighton’s Porridge Radio is in many ways their debut. Previous quietened bedroom recordings paved the way, allowing them to flourish on stage; captivating their audiences and myself. We hear a sound blossomed into music so pure, lead singer and songwriter Dana Margolin’s voice can only be described as incredible. No longer do Porridge Radio hide behind a hushed, whimsical ghost of their former sound. Today Porridge Radio are a reflection of the hurricane we behold on stage, and the storm is phenomenal.

Following their signing to Secretly Canadian, Porridge Radio have toured relentlessly, enabling their music to be heard across the globe, and in turn gaining them a wave of new listeners. I have been a fan of theirs for the last couple of years now and was lucky enough to first watch them performing in a room with no more than 20 others. Dana’s voice captivated me then, with such intensely driven songs. I knew that one day this band would skyrocket. It looks as though that day has come. 

‘Every Bad’ is in no uncertain terms, an exquisite album. The eccentrically beautiful collection of jarring songs, compliment one another in the most gorgeous way possible. Lyrically, each is home to their own unique message, but intertwine to become a screaming ode to and advocate of mental health, both for the individual and humanity as a collective.

The album is raw and honest, nothing is hidden. We are graced with truths in their purest forms; hurt is shown to us, shame is shown to us, denial, loss, indescribable self loathing and agony are shown to us. However we are also gifted with self-belief, love, acceptance and strength. We as humans can harbour anxiety, depression and worry inside of us. Through ‘Every Bad’ Porridge Radio explore how we can learn to accept them, and the incredible bravery of this. Dana has written the album drawing vastly on her own experiences and emotions in life. I believe this gives ‘Every Bad’ a wonderfully human aspect.

There isn’t a single song that is anything short of mesmerising. Every detail knitted and woven into each has been carefully stitched, creating an album crafted to evoke feeling. The lyrics are haunting and resonate deeply. Sung with such passion that you are moved from within your very core. ‘Every Bad’ wraps itself around your heart, and lingers longingly in your mind. 

Not a single fragment of Porridge Radio’s powerful live sound is lost within it. It is undeniable that as an album ‘Every Bad’ is groundbreaking. I have relished in and written about every single offering provided in the lead up to this album release, and in many ways I feel that Porridge Radio have allowed us to travel on this journey with them.

‘Every Bad’ will hold different emotions and outlooks for each listener. Although the lyrical content of each song will not change, how we perceive it based on our own mindset will vary. Although do not believe that Porridge Radio do not know this. I firmly believe that the album was written for this very reason. ‘Every Bad’ is an experience of reflection, growth and acceptance for each listener it pours upon, from the start to the very finish. A gift in the form of unwavering, brutal honesty. What better way to experience such an intense emotional outpouring, than through the medium of music?

I have to echo my past thoughts, and say that standout favourites of mine remain to be Circling and Sweet. Circling for its unwashed beauty and clarity. The single is just homely and fills me with daydreams of the sea and becoming lost within my own thoughts. Sweet for its sheer impact and intensity, with a sound so hard-hittingly raw. Both songs possess the most captivating lyrics for different reasons. Circling embodies emotions such as love, longing and escapism, whereas Sweet draws on anger, confusion and denial, but in the end these emotions are relinquished and eventually perceived are self-love and acceptance instead.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find a re-recorded version of old favourite, Born Confused, opening the album. This song was at home in my online music library for a while, until it disappeared. I was heartbroken at it being pulled, but believed it could be due to record label reasons. It was such a joy to rediscover the track on ‘Every Bad’. Albeit with a slightly different sound, yet remaining as mesmerising as ever. As is the same for the emergence of older material, in the form of Give/Take and Don’t Ask Me Twice, both of which Porridge Radio fans will already be familiar with. 

This familiarity and inclusion of older material on the album, envelopes what I have been saying throughout. Porridge Radio are nothing if not true to themselves. Older songs have allowed them to bloom yet still remain a part of them. Their places on the album are cherished nods to the bands past.

‘Every Bad’ is a journey for Porridge Radio and the listener alike. A kaleidoscope of emotion and feeling which can expand the horizons of your sight and sound, allowing for a sense of awakening. It is an album that pushes Porridge Radio, to showcase every aspect of their incredible talent.

A talent forever beheld on stage, now in our hands. We hold the privilege of being able to immerse ourselves in the glorious music of Porridge Radio, whenever we need to. 

Porridge Radio Release Latest Single ‘Circling’

Porridge Radio Release Latest Single ‘Circling’

Circling is beautiful, raw and emotional, and what pours from it is nothing shy of exquisite.

With their album ‘Every Bad’ due to be released next week, Porridge Radio have shared another new single with us today, as anticipation builds. I have been eagerly awaiting their album release for a long time, purely for one song alone. That song was shared with us today and with it, I was awash with a tidal wave of emotion. I completely adore ‘Circling’, having heard it live for the first time last year. I became obsessed from the very start. Having held my live recording dearly for such a while, to finally hear the studio recorded version was completely mesmerising.

I look at this song through two channels. When I’m struggling I can see it through the eyes of someone with thoughts swirling and rattling through their brain, desperately reassuring themselves that everything is ok. Nothing is wrong, everything is fine. In repeating waves with increasing intensity, swaying with desperation in the longing for everything to actually be ok. When I am happy and content, this song is safety, a comfort blanket and homely, and I love it dearly. The song reminds me of summer and happiness, of being wrapped in the arms of the person I adore. When I listen to the lyrics I am content and safe, and nothing is wrong and everything is fine. 

Isn’t it peculiar, how we can perceive songs differently depending on our state of minds, our moods and our feelings. This is honestly what I believe Dana and Porridge Radio have tuned into. Their songs are deep swells of heart wrenching emotion, happy and sad, in equal measures. The songs are an ode to and an advocate of mental health, and are deeply rooted in both emotional agony and emotional wellbeing. Porridge Radio sing in lulls suffering and recovery, and it is honestly glorious to behold. Lyrically and vocally the band are absolutely blooming in the most beautiful way. Each time I’ve seen them they just get better and better. Dana’s voice is unbelievable, a beacon of passion and power, that delivers her message in the most sublimely gorgeous setting. 

Through Instagram, Dana describes the song, ahead of their upcoming album release. ‘A lot of the songs on Every Bad are centred around the sea, and Circling was one of the last songs focused on water that I wrote about for the album. I was thinking on the idea of willing things to be ok by repeating that they are, because I need them to be. I tried to follow the flow of waves, and how they keep coming in endlessly, washing everything away, without judgement, and then bringing it back again.’

Usually in my single reviews I will tear a song apart, dissecting it piece by piece, and share with you its sound, style and everything in between, but honestly I don’t feel that is needed here. Circling is beautiful, raw and emotional, and what pours from it is nothing shy of exquisite. Both your heart and your mind are invoked and awakened, as the tide rushes in.

We all need to go inside the sea sometimes.

If you doubt me, listen for yourself.

Porridge Radio’s album ‘Every Bad’ is due to be released on 13th March.

See Porridge Radio perform for yourself at one of the following dates (or all of them):

Porridge Radio Release New Single ‘Sweet’ and Announce Album ‘Every Bad’

Porridge Radio Release New Single ‘Sweet’ and Announce Album ‘Every Bad’

Porridge Radio hold a very special place in my heart, and since the release of their previous single ‘Lilac’, I have been eagerly awaiting their next announcement. What I didn’t expect, was to receive not only news of another single, but also fresh tour dates and an impending album release all in one day. Porridge Radio have well and truly spoilt us. Their next album ‘Every Bad’ follows their recent signing to Secretly Canadian. I always knew the album was in the process of being made, but I was so incredibly happy to hear that it is going to be out this soon, with a release date scheduled for 13th March.

Singer and songwriter Dana, projects her feelings through song and has admitted that music is a means of expressing her vulnerability and allows her to be open. This makes a lot of sense, as Porridge Radio’s music is so beautifully exposed, it could only have come from the mind of someone who cares deeply about what they are writing and performing. Porridge Radio are an actual wonder to behold on stage, I’ve never seen a band perform so mesmerisingly that they completely silence a room. You don’t just watch Porridge Radio, you are transfixed.

The lyrics of their latest single ‘Sweet’ continue in being as raw and honest as previous releases. Dana does not shy away from delicate subjects, transforming them into heartfelt music. Porridge Radio have the wonderful ability to sing softly to begin with, and then drive their songs into a screaming frenzy of passion and chaos. Nothing about Porridge Radio is artificially constructed, they are a real band that are not afraid to be themselves. This is what ‘Sweet’ embodies.

Lyrically the song begins with Dana exposing a vulnerability that she has been made to feel from projections of other people’s opinions onto her. Being described as a nervous wreck by such a close figure as her mother in the song, has undoubtedly had an impact, and has so wrongly led to her feel ashamed. Dana refers to herself as a child, which stresses that she feels held back and controlled by these negative afflictions, that must be overwhelming if she is wishing someone dead. The song continues to emphasise this with her mother’s constant references to depression, which I feel suggests it is unclear as to whether Dana actually feels this way, or has been made to feel this way by her mother.

‘Sweet’ flourishes in its soft chorus, with Dana reassuring herself that she is so much more than what she has been made to feel like, by taking ownership in moving away and going on to realise she is a sweet and charming person, deserving of being loved by others. This self assurance is linked to what I feel is growing self-care and a positive mental outlook, taking the stigma away from the hurt and shame we can be twisted into feeling from the cruelties of others.

Although intensely delivered and hard-hitting, the real message behind ‘Sweet’ in my opinion, is to not feel shame from having been hurt and controlled by other people, but to have strength in escaping from the insecurities they have inflicted on you. Discovering that belief and love in yourself, realising that you are worthy, and learning that other people are clearly able to see this too. Porridge Radio possess a strong advocate for mental health in their lyrics in my opinion. Their music is incredibly important, as I expressed strongly in my review of their previous single ‘Lilac’.

‘Sweet’ is a delicate but powerful single, in one sense it’s comforting, but it also has the ability to violently shake you. Shame, nerves, anxiety and being hurt by the opinions of others, particularly those closest to us, can affect us all, but truthfully we have nothing to be ashamed of. ‘Sweet’ consists of our innermost anger, and the yearning, passionate delivery from Dana and Porridge Radio makes the song even more intense. One of the heaviest musical outpourings from Porridge Radio to date, it is guitar driven and menacing in its sound. Delivering intensity in not only it’s lyrical content, but it’s music too. Pushing the bands energy and instrument playing even further. This is clear to see if you have witnessed them performing ‘Sweet’ live, which I am lucky enough to have been able to.

Porridge Radio are already an incredible band, but if their latest single is anything to go by, I have a strong feeling that they are only going to get better and better. I cannot wait to watch them grow. You can pre-order ‘Every Bad’ and tickets for their upcoming tour are on sale now. You might even fall in love.