Quarantine Tunes: Broadside release their new masterpiece, “Into the Raging Sea”
(photo credit: Niles Gregory)
“We’re aiming to attract larger crowds. Large crowds like a lot of sounds. I’m not just a boy with a microphone anymore,” wrote Broadside’s vocalist Ollie Baxter in a virtual interview, in regards to the new direction the band is taking on their brand new full length, Into The Raging Sea that drops today, Friday, July 24th. A new course that will hit you straight in the face with the lead-off single for the record, “The Raging Sea.” These times of quarantine has brought me to dive into albums from so many bands I never really dug into in the past, groups that I just never thought were for me, even though I had likely seen them perform several times at least over these last ten years. The music that has been flowing onto the airwaves has me exploring bands I never really dove into before, and it’s been a beautiful retreat from what’s happening in the world. Broadside, of course, had been a band on my radar for years. Still, when I first heard the “The Raging Sea,” the lead-off single, I was hooked, and then “Foolish Believer” and “Heavenly” exploded on to our airwaves, both incredibly catchy singles that show an incredible side to the band. One that was has not been seen as much in the past releases. But a lot happened for the group in-between their new record and the last release in 2017. The band had some serious member changes, were forced to self-reflect, and to be honest, this new album is a hundred percent worth the wait and probably wouldn’t have been what it is if those things hadn’t happened.
The album is a wild journey and has a natural build-up to the more energetic songs that fans have grown to love from Broadside, but it hits you like a ton of bricks with “The Raging Sea,” with the plea of, ’36 minutes of your time please, just let me change your mind’. A line that would then foreshadow what was to come with the release which ticks in just under that time frame and according to Baxter it wasn’t intentional as the track wasn’t the first track written for the record, but it serves as the perfect introduction to what’s to come with the album. Said Baxter, “On the last day of production, we realized that the album-length was 36 minutes, sometimes, things just work out beautifully like that. Originally, the track was meant to be at the end of the record as a send-off, but our manager suggested putting it at the beginning. A “burst through the glass” experience if you will.” It’s most definitely that “burst through the glass” moment as the stage is then set with the first three lead-off singles into what seems like an incredibly honest album for the band. I don’t think the album would have been anything like it is if Baxter and his bandmates didn’t experience what they experienced. The record screaming of recovery, redemption, and self-exploration will easily be the one to shake fans’ world and perception of the band in the best of ways.
As the final notes of “Foolish Behavior” fade out, we fall into some tunes that will reflect the early roots of Broadside that their loyal fan base fell for initially, honestly a significant reason for their success so far. With tracks like “Clarity,” “Nights Alone,” and “Dancing on the Ceiling (With You),” it had me thinking of influences like All Time Low, The Summer Set, and Motion City Soundtrack, but with the grittiness and a bit of a grunge element, Broadside one-ups that level of pop-punk and gives it a serious edge, and it works well for the record. The lyric game throughout should have lead me to know the type of answers I’d get in my interview with Baxter about the album in how well-spoken he is. It’s something I always dive deep into, but it’s just one gorgeous quip after another with this record. Be it ‘Let’s pretend we’re not in love so we can fall in love tonight’ within “City Lights” to the anthemic, ‘To the boys with the sunken pride, just let it go, and it can change your life. For the girls with the empty eyes, put it aside, and it can change your life’ in “Dancing on the Ceiling.” The lyrics just never fade throughout the whole release, and while it may have been painful and a journey of self-reflection, it’s one their fans are going to be floundering over. In asking Baxter about the writing process, the progression of the album as it was written, he responded, “I believe the songs were so personal because they were organically created out of a place of hurt. I’m not even sure we were writing the album at that point, but 6-7 songs came out of that month-long writing session. Perhaps those were the songs that needed to happen first and pave the road for the more energetic, upbeat ones on the album. “
The record continues with its upbeat nature until ending the album out with the perfect finale in “Burning At Both Ends.” This final track does a gorgeous job of tying up a sure to be a historical album for the band. It’s an album that seems to be coming out of hurt, self-reflection, love, and pain. Lines like ‘Sometimes the world will give you love as a temporary fix’ and the ending words to the album ‘I wish you the best.’
This whole record is a beautiful and incredibly natural journey that deserves to be performed live, and it’s sad to think it’s something they likely won’t be able to do at least for several more months. For now, live out this record in the order the band’s created it in and be ready for the moment when you’re able to enjoy that energy live fully. It’s clear from speaking to Baxter this album had a lot of thought put into it, especially how it’s going to come across live. It’s a therapeutic collection of music that is perfect for these times, and being in your homes is the perfect time to fall in love with some quarantine armor entirely. It’s a weird time to be releasing music, but those that have done so decided not to push their records until 2021, are putting out some gorgeous easter eggs for you. When asked about what it’s been like to release a record in quarantine, Baxter simply replied, “It is the most bizarre experience of my life, releasing an album now. I figure while everyone is at home, bored, now’s the perfect time to beg for their attention.” I couldn’t agree more.