Hello everybody! Today’s post was not one that was in my initial schedule for this month (I’ll be talking about the album this post was originally going to be about later in the month, unless I get distracted again!) Which I find pretty amusing given I didn’t think I was even going to listen to this album initially because I couldn’t bear the thought of hating it. If that sounds strange, let me explain- Ten Tonnes is George Ezra’s brother, and the thought of hating this genuinely upset me because as you’ll know if you know me, George Ezra and his music means the world to me (as an example of this, a friend recently forewarned me not to watch a certain thing because someone covered Shotgun and butchered it since they knew it’d either upset me or enrage me…).
Then he asked all his fans to get behind it in his newsletter, and I knew I had to step up and listen regardless. Fortunately, talent runs in the Barnett family and this is bloody brilliant. I’ve been listening to it all weekend and wanted to rave immediately about it. An alternative title for this post could be: the One Where I Have a Breakdown Over the Barnett Brothers, so prepare yourself for some major gushing and rambling! Onto the post!
Lucy– I understand why this was chosen as an opener if it’s one of his oldest songs, but it’s probably not the one I’d have picked because if I’d started with this and not listened out of order I don’t think this post would exist and it certainly wouldn’t be up today (if anyone fancies guessing which one inspired my THIS MUST BE WRITTEN ABOUT NOW freakout please do, because I don’t know if you could tell from the post as a whole reading this back!). That’s not to say I don’t like it- I definitely do because it feels emotional even though I can’t work out what it’s about and I like the writing a lot- but I don’t think it represents what the album is that well because it’s quite serious but most other songs have humour about them in one way or another.
G.I.V.E– if this isn’t that song that gets called song of the summer all the time this year, there is no justice in this world (unless ME! gets called it. I could cope with that). It’s a bop, a banger or whatever the hell else you want to call an absolutely excellent pop song that feels totally classic yet so fresh at the same time. This is upbeat (which is super clever because it’s about a breakup- and you know I love a song that’s different emotionally to what is sonically) and it’s funny in a sarcastic, ironic kind of way that reminds me in the absolute way of Wanted on Voyage, because it’s kind of someone begging their ex to take them back but pretending they don’t really care. I knew from the opening drums I’d love it, but the guitars are awesome too and if the chorus doesn’t make you want to clap your hands and sing along I’ll be surprised. Also, is that Peru reference a shoutout to Paddington Bear? Given his older brother literally named an album in his honour, I wouldn’t be shocked.
Cracks Between- this is about a relationship slowly breaking down because the people are just too different and it’s fabulous. The guitars are wonderful and I think the lyrics are so smart. I’ll admit it’s not a favourite for me, but I definitely do like it and I’m especially into the chorus vocals and use of figurative language.
Counting Down- OH MY GOD THIS SONG. It’s about the narrator really liking someone despite other people thinking they don’t care and I can’t cope with how much it. Where do I even start? The melody’s perfect, it showcases Ethan’s full vocal range amazingly (those deep notes and those high notes inspired a fair bit of internal screeching) and I love the writing an infinite amount. Also, can we talk about the production on this? It’s sensational and whoever did it needs an award pronto. And the Kaiser Chiefs vibes are just amazing. Bloody hell. Can I get a round of applause for making that sound somewhat coherent? It initially was… very much not coherent.
Too Late- this is a great song and I like it a LOT, but also I’m still recovering from how much I loved Counting Down so please forgive me if this sounds ambivalent. The chorus of this is SO wonderful. I’m fairly sure It’s about being away from someone and missing them, but not wanting to because it’s so late. The reappearance of his lower register here is VERY WELCOME (George’s is still my fave, closely followed by Brendon Urie’s but Ethan’s voice is getting very high on my list and I’m so in love with it). Amazing melody too and just. What are words? Can I please have some new superlatives added to the dictionary for this album please? I’m running out.
Nights In, Nights Out- epic guitar melody, to kick things off. Ethan’s voice sounds amazing here. And I love the writing a huge amount. It’s about getting stuck in a rut and I love the way that’s shown and explained a lot- he’s clearly a fantastic songwriter or has an excellent team around him. It loses a few points for the chorus not being quite so catchy as some others, but I definitely love his.
Better than Me– I’m fully salty that G.I.V.E is not the lead single, but this is a great choice for it to be fair. It’s very catchy, not to mention incredibly relatable (it’s about feeling like literally everyone is doing more than you and doing it better and being happier). This has a bit of a rockier vibe in the verses that I really like and a really fun poppy chorus that you can’t help but get stuck in your head to complement it. I love Ethan’s vocals on this so much as well (obviously I like them in general, but they sound especially good here!)
Look What You Started– absolutely love the opening guitar and overall guitar melody in this, first off. I genuinely screamed when I heard it. I read an interview with Ethan before listening to the album where he said he didn’t want to write soppy love ballads but rather wanted to do love songs a bit differently and I think this a fab example of this. It’s definitely a love song and he’s definitely telling someone he really likes them, but it’s phrased in a way that underplays it and is kind of just like “let’s have the best time ever together” and the result is so fun and catchy, with another epic chorus. Also, the vocals in the bridge are some of my favourite on the whole album. I’m not done listening yet, but at this point I’m close to declaring Ten Tonnes a new fave of all time (still don’t love him as much as his big brother, obvs 😉). Actually obsessed.
Silver Heat- this is, first of all, one of my favourite song titles ever. The song itself is great too. The rockier sound is BRILLIANT and it’s about him liking a girl who’s still hung up on someone else. It’s beautifully written and I got very into the rock sound of it. I especially love the refrain and the chorus, and the guitars- unsurprisingly at this point- are so cool.
Wake Up- I initially misheard this and thought it was a really cute, traditional love song and was all glowy and happy so when I realised it was actually about someone leaving someone else it was such a kick in the teeth that I, and this is no word of a lie, cried. I am INVESTED, can you tell? On a more musical note (and one that makes me sound less strange), this is fantastic in that way too. I love that this is a bit of a quieter one and it’s such a beautiful sounding song. The writing is absolutely phenomenal as well- the level of detail and use of figurative language is really clever and makes the emotion of it even more palpable.
Lay it On Me– I’m not sure if this is just me, but some of this gives me major 80s (ie John Hughes soundtracks) vibes and I’m so here for that I can’t even tell you. It’s about someone that the narrator has kind of mucked around and not really fully committed to but is now trying to win back and honestly the fact that I don’t know if the story has a happy ending is upsetting me because while I know the girl is probably doing the right thing not taking him back the love is expressed in such a gorgeous, sincere way here that I wanted it to go well. On a cheerier level, the guitar riff is exceptional and I love the melody a huge amount.
Missing You- this is the most stripped back track on here and I really like it. It’s a pretty classic “I miss someone who left me” song but it hits all the right notes in terms of having a melancholy feel and there’s a fabulous guitar solo at one point. It’s not a fave, but it’s a really solid addition and I’m coming away from this debut so happy that I didn’t hate it (I’m sure neither George nor Ethan would ever have known or cared if I had, but I’d have known and felt ludicrously guilty regardless) and even happier that I genuinely loved it and feel like I’ve found an artist I absolutely love and am fairly sure I’ll love for a long time.
Are you planning to listen to this? If you’ve heard it already, which song is your fave? I’d love to hear in the comments!