‘Black Again’ was written by Lewis (vocals, guitar) and brought to life with the help of his four piece Manchester-based band at The Grand Studio. It’s a ruminative look inwards precipitated by COVID-19, which left Lewis feeling desperate for a healthier lifestyle that was free from bad habits. Black Again came out of Lewis’ reflections during his strenuous transition from a darker to brighter mindset. If you’re familiar with Nick Cave’s ‘O Children’ or Steven Fretwell’s ‘Play’, then you’ll have some sense of what to expect on Black Again as Lewis drew inspiration from these songs.
In opening, Lewis strums a sad minor chord and sings, ‘Pinch me cause I’m fast asleep / I hope you don’t forget I’m falling down deep / And I’m stuck.’ His voice has a slight raspy quality that strengthens the emotional heft of the earnest lyrics. The bass, drums, lead guitar, and keys are supportive of each other and serve the greater whole, which is far more than the sum of its parts. Black Again never falters or loses itself; never gets muddled or overcrowded, and this is in part for its being as structurally sound as it is with a verse-verse-bridge-chorus pattern. Lead guitarist Will Underwood get’s a few moments to shine and doesn’t waste it.
It’s an easy song to relate to despite, or maybe because of, its heavier theme, such as we find in the lyric, ‘And I choose just to pray for no reason / Change in the seasons / Bury me down with the thought in my head / Make me go black again’. It expresses a deep wish to escape from the negative desires and thoughts in one’s own mind, which are wont to have one like a dog chasing its tail.
Lewis Ross-Robson – vocals & guitar
Will Underwood – lead guitar
Matthew Fisher – bass
Matthew Deakin – drums
Harvey Semple – producer & keys
Mastered by Will Levison
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