The Last Mixed Tape reviews First Prize Bravery, the debut studio album from Sorcha Richardson.
First Prize Bravery comes to life through the choice of words, the tone and phrasing of how they are delivered, and the juxtaposition of intimate bedroom-pop songwriting brought to the fore by stylized production. Within this milieu, Sorcha Richardson’s debut is a record filled with late night streets, sunset vistas and hazy memories.
On First Prize Bravery Richardson seems to capture the hand-held grounded authenticity of an indie-film maker. There’s a real D.I.Y sensibility to the music, and although the production itself is expansive, tracks like ‘Honey’ (which opens the album) still hold the stark striking intimacy of Richardson’s early work via a song that pushes the vocal delivery to the fore ground while the background supports it through long-held piano chords and washing textures.
This is quickly contrasted by the dreamy sonically swirling finale of ‘Oh Oscillator’, the jangled indie inflected persistence of ‘High In The Garden’ and the slow-burn beat and build of ‘False Alarm’, all of which showcase different sides of First Prize Bravery the album whilst stilling feeling true to Sorcha Richardson the artist, as Richardson maintains the strong emotive core of her songwriting throughout.
However, its the jolting back and forth beat of ‘Don’t Talk About It’ (listen below) that steals the show. Capturing the youthful malaise of First Prize Bravery in three minutes, the lyrics have fragility in their honesty, expression in their delivery and a choruses that begs to be sang along to. This high water mark in Sorcha Richardson’s debut offering encapsulates everything great and compelling about her music. The mood, tone and emotion are all there but so too are the hooks, the melodies and the beats, bridging the gap between her indie and pop infleunces.
And so it goes, with First Prize Bravery Sorcha Richardson creates a backdrop of serene suspended cityscapes for intimate stories to take place and weave themselves within. Sometimes albums play for speed, eager to move to the next story, leaving little time to truly hang out and experience everything these moments have to offer. Here, nothing is rushed as Richardson allows us to do just that, hang out.
First Prize Bravery by Sorcha Richardson is due out on November 8th.