Sunday, June 09, 2024

Becky Hill Serves Up A Masterclass In Dance Music

Becky Hill dropped her sophomore album ‘Believe me now?’ last week and showcases the exact reason why she is well and truly the undoubted queen of drum and bass.

Her vocals on each song are not only gorgeous, but they are also almost to a sense flawless and makes even the hardest of melodies and falsettos such as in track ‘Darkest Hour’ and delving deeper, it was clear in the beginning, when she first dropped the first singles such as ‘Disconnected’ and ‘Side Effects’, last Summer that this new album would end up being a big hit.

Hill showcased both songs at that year's Leeds and Reading Festival and the countless other sets she performed at other festivals, including her residency in Ibiza. The track ‘Disconnected’ is about losing yourself in the music and using this as a distraction from all that life throws at you, it stands as a reminder that through every problem and every hurdle, we have music to pull us through, which couldn’t have felt more fitting to play at a festival; a place which truly connects its audiences through the sheer love of music. Music is so beautiful in this way as seeing audiences unite through tough times is a phenomenon worth studying. 

More recently, Hill also released the more heartfelt, vocal heavy track ‘Outside of Love’. This track is a love ballad of sorts, about navigating life after a break-up. It tells of how even in feeling incredibly lost and admitting the blame in the relationship it stands as a hearty reminder that everyone goes through the same universal experience. With lyrics such as I “where do we go now? What are we doing? / I can’t stand the silence so deafening” and the extremely hard hitting chorus of “should we admit that i’m not enough? I thought we said forever? / It’s cold on the outside of love” it is clear Hill writes from her heart and isn’t afraid of sharing her personal experiences through her music giving her audience a deeper connection not only to her as an artist but also her artistry and the tracks she releases especially through songs such as ‘Outside of Love’ and ‘Darkest Hour’. The album also includes a few incredible features from the likes of Sonny Fodera (‘Never Be Alone’), the amazing vocals of Self Esteem on the opening track of the album (‘True Colours’) and ‘One track Mind’ featuring Rileasa

Each song on this album shares a different part of the narrative of broken down relationship to finally getting through and reaching a more positive outlook and here is the breakdown: Hill reminds us in her first track (‘True colours’) how easy it is to ignore those initial red flags in someone and how being the bigger person isn’t always the easiest route to take with lyrics like “said all along he’s bad to the core / all the red flags you chose to ignore / he let you down, do you believe me now?”. This track showcases both Hill’s and Self Esteem’s amazing vocal talent as they both easily hit quite high notes and falsettos without a clear sign of struggle, not to mention, the track itself though it’s content is about a particularly difficult subject for some, in melody is extremely positive and is extremely well complimented in the end by Hill’s and Self Esteem’s harmonies reiterating the title of the album ‘Do You Believe Me Now?’.

The process then a few songs later with ‘Multiply’ takes the perspective of the anxiety that becomes deep-rooted in the aftermath of a broken down relationship. Lyrics such as in the chorus “I can’t sleep at night / all my thoughts they multiply / there’s a party in my mind” perfectly sums up the confusion of being torn between with one hand wanting to set yourself free from the hurt but on the other missing the person now lost from the relationship. “There’s a party in my mind” suggests how these thoughts can often be erratic and chaotic and also provides the sense of being so overcome with this anxiety that there is no room left in the person’s brain to think about anything else but these feelings. 

The redemption arc of pulling through the sadness and heartbreak into a brand-new relationship and meeting someone is then suggested with tracks such as ‘Man of My Dreams’ and ‘Side Effects’. Though the lyrics as a stand alone in these songs aren’t always the most elaborate, the simple yet effective approach clearly works for Hill as this then leaves the focus to be on her gorgeous vocal runs and riffs. 

Overall, this album is simply sensational and a masterclass in just how amazing dance music can really be. The album itself serves as a reminder that even through hard times, music is the main thing that will unite evident from songs such as ‘Back Around’ and ‘Keep Holding on’ the concluding tracks of the album. The message of ‘Believe me Now?’ stands as a constant pick-me-up for Hill’s audience and lets them know that they will never be alone with her and her music by their side. Hill’s music is a template for how dance music really should be and is truly leading the way for this generation’s ravers and avid festival goers and colleagues in the music industry alike. 


Bethany Atkins 


Image: 'Believe Me Now?’  Official Album Cover


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