Despite having been a fan of Picturesque since first hearing ‘Just Exist’ a few years ago, ‘Back To Beautiful’ slipped under the radar for an embarrassingly long time. Picturesque blend post-hardcore, pop and rock in their impressive debut album, creating a unique sound helped by the mind-blowing vocal range of singer Kyle Hollis.
On the album vocalist Kyle Hollis explained that it is about when he “went through a rough break up”, saying “[w]e were engaged, and I thought I had life from there on out figured out, but I didn’t. It hit me hard mentally and physically.” This influence is clear throughout the album, reflected not just in the title ‘Back to Beautiful” referring to his healing process through the recording of the album, but in songs like ‘New Face’ which refer to the time “wasted”.
As I mentioned above, it was the ‘Monstrous Things’ EP that sold this band to me. When I played this album and heard songs like ‘Speak Softly’ and ‘Just Exist’ it made me smile. These are songs that were so important to me getting through a really tough time in my life. For me, ‘Just Exist’ was one of those songs that I listened to daily to help me keep going, whilst the lyrics clearly mean something particular to Kyle (likely referring to the break-up and loss of faith in love), it’s one of those songs with the power to ‘adapt’ to those listening.
Though they have a very unique sound, songs like ‘Believe’ bring to mind bands like Sleeping With Sirens and instrumentally similar to Pierce The Veil. Hollis is bound to be compared to singers like Vic Fuentes and Kellin Quinn who also have astoundingly high vocal ranges, but he has an unusual smoothness and grit which can only be understood when you listen to him sing. I love every song on this album, each helps highlight different areas of strength this band has – and there are a lot of them.
The album truly feels like a journey from beginning to end, with final song ‘Unannounced’ feeling like a sort of acceptance with what happened and Hollis’ own part to play. It begins with an almost acoustic sound, stripped to nearly just Kyle’s voice, before rallying together with a powerful chorus. It has a much more relaxed vibe, perhaps leaning a little closer to their pop influences for the verses before the chorus comes in and hits you hard. Perhaps an English Lit student is looking a little too deeply into it, but it really feels like Kyle is growing with the support from the band. Regardless, it is a brilliant song which ends the album on a tantalising high.
‘Back To Beautiful’ really captures the talent of each band member, each of whom are equally deserving of the spotlight. They have played alongside bands like blessthefall, Like Moths To Flames and Our Last Night. I’m excited to hear what comes next and hope to catch them playing the UK soon.
Let me know what you thought of the album below!