Old Note’s sophomore album, ‘With A Heavy Heart’, is set for release February 16th (Friday) through Old Press Records. The follow up to their debut, ‘former self’, is a healthy evolution. Unlike their debut, this record deals with much darker themes, including suicide, loss, abusive relationships and an overall unease with life. These troubling and evocative lyrics are paired with hypnotic guitars, heavy-hitting percussions and clean vocals that break into screams with palpable intensity.
Opening track ‘Condolence’ is a beautiful instrumental, which leads straight to ‘Solace’. This track featured more heavy vocals, closer to screaming than I expected from Old Notes but it definitely works. The raw, strained vocals really add to the emotional honesty we’re used to from this band. This track provides a feeling of solace; comfort or consolation in a time of great distress or sadness, and I love the poetic beauty in that. I have fallen in love all over again with Old Notes. The album also features an acoustic version of ‘Solace’ which is just as moving, though seems to give the song a totally different energy; whilst the original feels desperate and angry at loss, the acoustic seems more elegiac.
‘With a Heavy Heart’ has such a natural progression, it really is worth listening to it in order. The lead single, ‘Rocco’, has a completely different energy when listened to in the context of the album. Coming towards the end of the album it demonstrated to me just how quickly this album was over, it flew past me and I was drawn in by each one.
Songs like ‘Limbless’ remind me of ‘Earthworms’ from the first album. Of course, their sound has evolved in the best way possible; this song builds into a crashing climax that has you hooked. But one of the standout tracks has to be ‘Dead Flowers’. This song really highlights their growth from their debut, building on all the things I loved and throwing in something new. Their lyrics continue to deal with issues of mental health and remain completely relatable.
Electronic instrumental ‘Consolation’ was so unexpected for me, that I cried. You know a band is doing it right when just their instrumentals have you crying, bringing to mind bands like Being as an Ocean whose instrumentals are as recognisable as their vocal tracks. These tracks were missing from their debut, and we are finally getting to experience the full emotive power this band has. This album presents a bigger and better Old Notes – they’ve experimented and taken risks and have come out the other side stronger for it.
‘You Are Nothing’ starts with just Devin’s voice. It had me hooked immediately. The lyrics are disgustingly relatable, as usual, and incredibly catchy. Listening to this album in order is a whole different experience to listening to random songs.
This album has me falling in love with Old Notes all over again. Somehow, they have managed to create an album that is familiar, yet makes them seem like a whole new band. It was incredibly difficult not to write an entire essay on every song on this album, but that speaks volumes about the quality of the tracks. I have a lot of love for the boys in Old Notes and you’d be missing out if you didn’t buy this album. Pre-order it now so you can rock out to this masterpiece of an album as soon as possible.