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 then 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 the 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, somehow 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’ is an album that will hold different emotions and different outlooks for each listener. Although the musical and 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 for me 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 the intensity of it, with a sound so hard-hitting and raw. Both songs possess the most captivating lyrics for different reasons. Circling embodies emotions such as love, longing and escapism, whereas Sweet draws on feelings of anger, confusion and denial, but in the end these emotions are relinquished and in time we perceive self-love and acceptance instead.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find a re-recorded version of an old favourite of mine, Born Confused, opening the album. This song was at home in my online music library for a while, until one day it disappeared. I was heartbroken at it being pulled, but believed it could be due to record label reasons. It was a joy to rediscover the song on ‘Every Bad’, with a slightly different sound but remaining still as mesmerising as ever. As is the same for the emergence again 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. The album has been created using a variety of instruments and each song is curated with its own blend of music. The album pushes Porridge Radio to showcase every aspect of their incredible talent. This talent is always seen on stage, but now it is in our hands. We can immerse ourselves in their glorious music whenever we need to.