Porridge Radio – Every Bad

Every Bad is a collection of bittersweet, self aware and introspective hymns that will leave you captivated. Porridge Radio’s second album graces us with songs of self-reflection and the conflicting emotions at the center of it. Songwriter Dana Margolin questions herself and looks at every facet of her soul, along with foreboding delivery of lines like “I don’t know what’s going on / Maybe nothings going on”, you’ll be left just as perplexed as you recognize yourself in these musings.

The four piece band from Brighton is completed by drummer Sam Yardley, bassist Maddie Ryall and keyboardist Georgie Stott. Their presence is wholly supportive to the words, like a blanket surrounding it. Airing out the atmosphere with a gothic sound that can range from angelic bells to screeching ominous guitars. 

There’s a lot of repeating lyrics in this album, sprinkled into each verse and with more prevalence in the outros. This gives the lines more emphasis and weight, a deliberate artistic choice that gives the album its unifying theme. Listeners will be hard-pressed to distinguish if these are mantras, prayers or incantations. They might even be all three at the same time.

Like in the first track “Born confused”, “Thank you for leaving me / Thank you for making me happy” seems like a positive note at first, but as the line is continually repeated, it morphs into different emotions, from acceptance to frustration to irony.

“Don’t Ask Me Twice” follows up with “I don’t know what I want but I know what I want”, the frontwoman describes the song as finding yourself in a specific time and place and just not knowing how you got there and how it always feels like it’s all going to fall apart at any moment. 

“Lilac” is a lethargic, slow and sinuous exploration of depression and how it can take you to a spiral of discomfort. “I’m stuck” repeats in the first verse followed by “I’m kind” in the third. The contradiction plays a game of tug-of-war culminating with “I don’t want to get bitter / “I want us to get better” which serves as a refreshing and much needed positive resolution, except when it intensifies in urgency and gets more ambiguous at the end.

“Circling” sounds like a merry go round, a song about the endless ebbs and flows of the sea by which the band frequently hangs out. A hopeful yet cautious song of contentment, with an undertone of apprehension to the sameness of it all.

“Homecoming” is the outro of the whole album which mimics the outros of all the other songs and ties it in a bow. An aqueous thesis of the last ten tracks, there’s an air of finality as Margolin proclaims “I’m coming home”.

Porridge Radio’s latest album explores an emotional landscape and examines it at every angle, hoping to extract the full meaning behind each line it repeats, taking us with them at every step and inviting us to see it within ourselves. Our conclusions may be different, but it’s the journey that counts.

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