Mixing optimism with darkness in a gorgeous display of sincerity and humility
Melissa Darragh
11:33 8th June 2020

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The second coming of Jack Garratt has arrived. Four years on from his debut album Phase, Garratt returns from hiatus an artist who has battled his demons and came away with a striking self-awareness. Back with an empowering bang, his sophomore album Love, Death & Dancing mixes optimism with darkness in a gorgeous display of sincerity and humility. 

From the opening track, ‘Return Them To The One’, it is clear that this album is an ode to Garratt’s journey in search of self-acceptance. Baring his soul from the opening line, “They haven’t come for me, I’m not the main event,” Garratt shares an intimate account of his struggles, with each track bringing with it a new layer, ever-adding to the truthful, unreserved narrative he has created. 

Triumphant brass sections and jarring, synth-filled soundscapes take us on a rollercoaster of emotions. From the uplifting, ‘Get In My Way’ to the solemn ‘Doctor Please’, this album is the product of years of self-growth, featuring rich, soulful moments with elements of gospel and blues, as well as ruggedly electronic breakdowns and slick rhythmic transitions. An array of anthemic tracks such as ‘Better’ and ‘Circles’ bring peaks of energy throughout the album while remaining every bit as thoughtful as their slower counterparts.

Towards the end of the record, it somewhat changes gears with the heart-wrenchingly emotional ‘She Will Lay My Body On The Stone’. Featuring simple piano accompaniment and Garratt’s powerful vocal, this song, although the most stripped back on the album, is arguably the most impactful. Almost hymn-like, it is a requiem-cum-love-letter which tackles the impact mental health may have on our view of love and relationships. Theatrical and passionate, this song is hauntingly beautiful and will stick with you for some time to come.

Providing an open and honest reflection on mental health, relationships, and self-worth, Love, Death & Dancing is both heartfelt and thought-provoking, while also maintaining moments of joyful and rhythmic euphoria, which you can’t help but dance to. A refreshingly candid outlook on the human experience, this album is stunningly turbulent and hopeful, released at a time life itself is more chaotic than ever.

Love, Death & Dancing is released on 12 June 2020 via Island Records. 

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