Following a difficult year, Blaenavon today release their second album Everything That Makes You Happy. Frontman Ben Gregory has forever been open about his struggles with mental health, writing an open letter to fans on Monday to address the challenges that they were faced in the making of this album.
Within the letter accompanying the album, Ben states:
I couldn’t be prouder for you all to hear this album: an optimistic response to a difficult time. It made sense with the records impending release to touch base with you again and explain whats been happening in our world.
Before announcing the albums release and thanking fans for their continuous support, he continues, stating:
I‘ve been very open regarding my mental health, and earlier this year things once more took a turn for the worst. In an industry so challenging, I pushed myself too hard and relapsed, returning to the hospital for a short time. I know many of you have really been struggling with your mental health, but I can promise you that time heals all and everything WILL be alright.
Everything That Makes You Happy opens with the beautiful I Want You. Uplifting and hopeful, yet juxtaposed by the emotions and paranoia which lie in the lyrics it’s not what you said, it’s how you said it. Overall, I Want You truly sets the tone for the album, letting it become apparent that Ben Gregory wears his heart on his sleeve within Everything That Makes You Happy.
Catatonic Skinbag is up next, the lead single from the album, with a catchy chorus and stunning lyrics. Blaenavon’s sadness is moulded into an anthemic track which will leave crowds eating out of their hands, destined to get fans moving.
A stunning and emotive track is Skin Scream, showing Ben Gregory’s struggles with his mental health in the most beautiful way. The sad reality of relationships and modern life are heightened in a glorious atmospheric number.
Fucking Up My Friends leaves listeners wanting to dance, an upbeat indie pop song then juxtaposed with self-awareness of ruining relationships with your friends, yet not being able to prevent it from happening.
The album concludes with its title track, unraveling into an anthemic number which is raw and delicate, with glimmers of positivity scattered through in lyrics such as “happiness is coming”.
Everything That Makes You Happy is a brave and beautiful documentation of how mental health issues can make you feel. A truly stunning album, Blaenavon are certainly a band to keep your eye on.
Everything That Makes You Happy is available as of now via Transgressive and can be streamed in its entirety via Youtube and Soundcloud.