The rise of female-fronted pop-rock is becoming more and more apparent in music, with Pvris, Against The Current and Tonight Alive being just a few that explore various elements of the genre. Courage My Love formed back in 2009 and have been gradually making a name for themselves over those years. Now the Canadian trio released their sophomore full-length album back, incorporating fresh new and matured sounds following debut record Becoming and a succession of EPs. Synesthesia, made up of fourteen brand new tracks, moves the band in the right direction for their sound development; they come across more grown up and able to incorporate themes that relate to a vast majority of listeners, from growing up and learning to love and heartbreak. Their melodic promise and catchy energy has always been a trait to reel in the fans, but with this album, they take a fresh direction which suits the band wonderfully.

 They work through a natural progression of tracks, each with their own prowess and charm. Title track Synesthesia initiates the record with a trance-like melody and a static setting that makes an appearance later down the line in fellow interludes Sight:Sound and Taste:Touch. The energy is maintained as they race into Animal Heart, a stand out track that provides a glimpse of what is in store for the rest of the album. Synth-ridden and compelling guitars creates an enticing blend of pop, alternative and dance which is irresistible to listen to.

 There are vast quantities of electronically driven pop-hooks, which is particularly evident in Stereo. The track rummages around themes of nostalgia and plays on what it means to grow up and move on from the past. The chorus stands out to be a true summer ballad, easy to listen to and sing along with the pacey drum beats and consistent electric impulses. Need Someone takes a slower pace and melancholic lyrical direction, resulting in an emotional track that now has a music video to match. It is an incredibly raw song that obviously means a lot to the trio and delves into what it means to become open and venerable with another person. The dual harmonies from twin singers Mercedes and Phoenix Arn-Horn works wonders on this track, taking the lyrics to new heights and grips the listeners right to their heart. There is plenty of passion throughout the album, all presented by the incredibly intoxicating vocals which plays resemblances to Chrissy Costanza of Against The Current unified with Pvris’ Lynn Gunn, a combination of heavenly ranges with a darker interior which encapsulates the whole entirety of the record pretty well.

 If this album is out to prove anything, it is that Courage My Love have got a lot in them, with plenty of big things to come. With such a different direction for the group, this record opens up many possibilities for them to head in the future. It may not be the album of the year, but for the band, this is a big stepping point and a kick in the right direction.

7/10

For fans of: Against The Current, Pvris, Halsey
Words by Jess Boswell

‘Synesthesia’ by Courage My Love is out now on InVogue Records.

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