Friday 28 April 2023

Before Breakfast - Absorbed EP

Following on from last year’s debut album I Could Be Asleep If It Weren’t For You, Sheffield’s Before Breakfast return with a five-track EP Absorbed.

Before Breakfast’s debut was a deeply personal exploration of the issues and question facing modern women as they get older and are confronted by the expectations society has always placed on them conflicting against the realignment of gender politics and feminist empowerment. Absorbed continues many of those themes set in classically-influenced song structures and with Gina’s rich, emotionally open and vulnerable vocals layered with harmonies.

“I look at your picture too many times to forget what you look like” opens the EP. The way Lucy lingers on the first five words that she repeats them through the song captures perfectly that post-relationship reminiscence of what was and won’t be again or that lingering thought of someone you can’t have.

Chosen deals with the fear of being left on the shelf and full of emotional and other needs that can’t be met. Strings and vocal harmonies dance in the background as the song’s simple central line “I just want to be chosen” is repeated like the brain going over and over something time and time again.

Cats And Snakes has the feel of an adult nursery rhyme set to music with references to cats, creepy crawlies and creatures that don’t exist. The vocal harmonies are unsettling, haunting as insomnia caused by an overactive brain kicks in - “I feel my eyes dancing, twitching, lids glued into place, it’s not a nightmare nor daydream, not sleep or awake” perfectly encapsulating those nights you want to sleep but your brain won’t let you.

You Ready continues with the innocent sounding “I will be in your dreams tonight” that’s laced with the same sense of self-doubt and overthinking, lying awake at night trying to make sense of everything. It questions finding a happy version of yourself and not just the shiny one that Gina sings of “you bring me out for pictures and parties”

The title track Absorbed is a reconciliation of sorts of what’s gone before, the desire to be happy in your own skin. It brings to a close a five track exploration of the questions that sit in people’s heads as they move through life wondering what’s in store for them, each uncertainty amplified by the mind racing. It’s powerful and unsettling as it's unafraid to pose difficult questions to themselves and to the listener about life and love and genuine human thoughts and emotions.

Before Breakfast's website can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter.

They tour at Sheffield Upper Chapel (May 4), Manchester Castle Hotel (28), Leeds Oporto (30), St Albans The Horn (31), Brighton Folklore Rooms (June 1), London Metronome (2), Dewsbury Woven Festival (3), Cambridge Blue Moon (4), Halifax Square Chapel Arts (9), Wakefield Long Division Festival (10), York Fortyfive Vinyl Cafe (11), Nottingham Chameleon (15), Pocklington Arts Centre (July 1) and Deer Shed Festival (29).

photo - Emma Ledwith


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