Home New Music Devastating breakup tunes with Brendan Scott Friel’s ‘Shadows’

Devastating breakup tunes with Brendan Scott Friel’s ‘Shadows’

Brendan Scott Friel

There’s an almost nautical quality to Brendan Scott Friel’s ‘Shadows’. Maybe it’s the steadiness of that waltz-time guitar, or the whistling, echoing space in the track.

Maybe I’ve just been in London too long and miss the ocean. But there is something of a lonely walk on the seashore here, the kind where you let the forcing wind whip down your throat and choke you, as you think of all that might have been. It’s not a song that soars and takes off. It stays quietly in place, haunting.

This consummate level of emotion is no surprise from Brendan Scott Friel, Canadian singer-songwriter with years of shows and songs under his belt. ‘Shadows’ comes from his upcoming album ‘Summer Moons’, due to be released in April, and is a devastatingly resigned eulogy to a past relationship. “Was I happy then, were we almost there…what can I do?” sings Friel in a smoky, tired voice. Despite being happily married, he is still capable of penning the bleak words of heartbreak.

There is a beautiful understatedness to this track – the melodies are lovely, but never too bold, never too rangey.

Friel recognises that loss is more often a thick grey fog than a powerful storm. Only the production hints at the depth of emotion, with swelling strings and touches of unearthly synths, the reverb giving a sense of huge, empty space. Friel wisely keeps his voice low, husky, letting the emotion of the track shine through. It’s a gorgeous offering for anyone looking for a new favourite heartbreak song.

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Words Eden Tredwell