Blaenavon - 'Everything That Makes You Happy'

7/10

When Blaenavon announced their comeback at the very start of this year, the news was overshadowed by the situation that the band had found themselves in. Following the release of their heavily-praised debut album 'That's Your Lot', frontman Ben Gregory was struggling with his mental health, resulting in a breakdown and hospitalisation in the following months. But despite the promising new group almost imploding straight out of the starting blocks, they used the opportunity to create this followup 'Everything That Makes You Happy', a cathartic journey that was born out of their darkest time.

Despite it being written around and influenced by an extremely troubling time, 'Everything That Makes You Happy' is an overwhelmingly uplifting record. While there are moments that directly mention the depression, such as the lead single 'Fucking Up My Friends', much of the release prefers to keep its inspirations wrapped up in a web of soaring guitars and positive tones, giving us a glimpse into the mindset of a band that knows they are having a terrible time but are still looking for as much hope and optimism as they can to bring themselves out of this slump.

The result is an incredibly proficient and moving collection that shows real maturity over their debut. 'Everything That Makes You Happy' may have been born out of the darkness, but seems to shine like a beacon of hope that carries a message of never giving into adversity, making for a bold and vibrant listen throughout.

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