Forde – Despite yesterday – album review

by | Aug 4, 2020 | Album Review

Despite Yesterday was my first audible encounter of Fordë. We got chatting on Instagram and when he asked me to review this album for him I was really excited to sink my teeth in to this 12 track electronica-pop album.

I like that the album has a little opener. For me, as the listener, those little 1 minute opening tracks can be very important to setting the pace of the whole album, which is exactly what “Hey its Fordë does.  If this were a book, “Hey its fordë” would be the perfect front cover to the album. I found the album to be simple but, at points, quite catchy. 

Jumping in to the second track “mid-20’s crisis” is certainly, lyrically, something we can all relate to, although, I really wasn’t a fan of the use of profanities. The track is stripped of dignity with the use of “fuck”. But hey that’s just my opinion. I love those big open chords that the record is opened by. It reminded me a lot of  something you might hear on a mystical wizard-like a PlayStation 1 game (perhaps final fantasy?). I liked how Fordë mentions Covid-19.  It keeps the track forever captured in a period of time that we’ll never forget.

The third record is called “Oh Lord!” and features Kamen Watson. It’s more fast-paced than the two previous tracks. It’s fairly feel-good, bouncy and predictable. I don’t use ‘predictable’ as a negative because its an art to write something that you know someone will instantly ‘get’ but I do  feel like I’d really like to hear fordë turn this in to a punk record as a one off.. I feel like it would work really well. It’s a nice tune.

The pace comes down a notch with track 4 ‘Into the wind’.  The record has a lot more drive than some of the others on the a across the album. Mixing laser beam sounds with a pretty lary sounding guitar, I found this to be of the most notable production value. It was like the sex pistols meets Kraftwork. It’s a cocktail I remain unsure if it works, but the chorus is catchy as fuck.

Daniel Streeter joins Fordë on “paralysed” which is the 5th record on the album. Whilst I said earlier I’m not a fan of profanaties on records, I do think that on this track it works. Whilst those electronic drums remain prominent, Fordë introduces a very much-welcomed acoustic guitar which offers a break to those not mad on Electronica. However, there are still a few synths thrown in there. It’s got an almost romantic rawness about it, but cleverly mixes 21st century pop too. 

At the halfway point, “it’s a bad time” uses those signature sounds of gravelly, and crunchy guitars but also those poppy synths nicely hiding in the background, tickling the eardrums. The feel of this track is pop meets drum and bass. Lyrically, it’s not too explorative, but the track itself again shows signs of mixing the attitude of punk with present day electronica. The style of vocal in this was very punky in this.

Track 7 was ‘Still Hurts’. I felt like things were getting a little darker here, and for me, it was a welcome mix of fairly straightforward beats, consistent synths keeping everything going and a load of super cool vocal harmonies. When I heard this track, I physically moved forward on my seat and started writing notes as fast as I could. I felt that this was Fordë’s sound, and it was an exciting moment. A few listen’s later, I had calmed down, but the track remained instantly timeless and intriguing. 

Fever Dreamz was up next in line. This track was packed full of huge, flavorsome chords at the chorus and gated drums, that would rattle your rib cage if turned up loud enough. I can’t help thinking I would have liked to have heard some real strings in here, but perhaps this just isn’t the feel of Fordë’s. Don’t get me wrong, I know this is strictly an electronica-synth loving album, but it may have just broken things up a bit.

October Smoke is track 9. The production on this record is quite inspiring with that really deep and dark acoustic guitar. Again, like the majority of the tracks on Despite Yesterday, the record is held together  by a pretty simple drum beat and synths that nicely tie everything together. At this point in the album, I came to the conclusion that Fordë’s strength is to style out a strong chorus. I really like the way the synth-lead travels around the headphones from right to left. It’s all these little things that make him stand out. 

The tenth track is called “I still lose sleep”. Things kick off sounding pretty euro-pop meets U2’s with or without you. This, out of all the records has the potential to be Despite Yesterday’s ‘epic’ record. Again, the vocal shows signs of late 90’s punk whilst the rest of the record sports an acoustic guitar, Europe-style synths and double tracked vocals which are ultimately, very 80’s eletro inspired. It’s the record on the album the crowd would sing along to.

Despite yesterday is the 11th and title track. Opened with a pulsating synth bass and vocals, again, having that sort of U2-esque sound, but only in an electronica format made this intriguing. The dirty floor tom going through the whole record gave this track a more gritty feel which I think was needed. I found this record lyrically inspiring as Fordë says over and over, “don’t think you cant ever have it all”, and in a world where we all compare lives through social media, this message of positivity was taken really well by me. 

The final track was my favorite. It’s called Can You Call Home ft Samuel Clarke. The reason I rated it is because the chord progression was pretty perfect, the vocals were so complimentary to the rest of the song and the song itself was just two vocals and an acoustic guitar. This record is Fordë’s Olive Branch to lovers of other genre’s of music. This would be the record i would like to see live. It’s got a real maturity about it and closes the album so well.

In all, I think Fordë has taken a lot on with this album. It can difficult to write one song, let alone a 12 track album. There are some really lovely parts, and I would listen again to Despite Yesterday. It’s pretty good for nighttime driving and if you want something pretty weird and wonderful, this is defiantly the album for you.

Lastly, he’s a really lovely guy, and that bodes very well for me. 

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