Artist to Watch: Mumble Tide Shine With Raw, Unfiltered Passion on “Kindest” & “The Start Over”

Mumble Tide © 2023
Mumble Tide © 2023
The soul-stirring gentle giant “Kindest” and the rip-roaring frenzy “The Start Over” capture Bristol duo Mumble Tide at their best as they pour unfiltered passion and raw emotion into their achingly beautiful and breathtaking art.
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Stream: “Kindest” – Mumble Tide

There is a hammer in my heart, metal in my blood, stones in my throat, holes in my love…

Fast or slow, hot or cold, Mumble Tide’s music is an irresistible, all-consuming fever dream.

Ever since debuting in 2020, the Bristol-based duo of Gina Leonard and Ryan Rogers have become a staple of our pages and a constant on our airwaves. 2021’s debut mini-album Everything Ugly delivered heartwarming indie rock with feverish energy and stirring emotion, and the slew of songs that came before and after it (including such highlights as 2020’s debut EP Love Thing and this past May’s Editor’s Pick, “Hotel Life”) showcase Mumble Tide’s capacity to embrace their grungy and glistening sides in the same 3- to 4-minute experience.

“Rising from a calm whisper to an untethered shout, Mumble Tide immerse themselves in both fragility and turmoil, tugging at life’s strings and watching it unravel before their very eyes,” I wrote earlier this summer. Those words have continued to hold true as the band released two more songs this year that couldn’t be farther apart from one another, and yet inevitably feel like two sides of the same coin. The soul-stirring gentle giant “Kindest” and the rip-roaring frenzy “The Start Over” capture Mumble Tide at their best as they pour unfiltered passion and raw emotion into their achingly beautiful and breathtaking art.

Kindest - Mumble Tide
Kindest – Mumble Tide
It hurts me to hear
You say I′m the kindest
You have no idea
The trickster my mind
There is
A hammer in my heart
Metal in my blood
Stones in my throat
Holes in my love
– “Kindest,” Mumble Tide

Released in July and October respectively, “Kindest” and “The Start Over” seem, at least upon first listen, like they couldn’t be more different if they tried. One (“Kindest”) is a brooding, gentle, and soft introspective piece that calls to mind the emotionally charged indie folk of artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Lizzy McAlpine; the other (“The Start Over”) is a scuzzy, feverish, and seductively emo explosion of seething pop-punk inspired by (while still very distinct from) My Chemical Romance’s sophomore album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.

Mumble Tide © 2023
Mumble Tide © 2023



Were it not for Gina Leonard’s dynamic, dramatic vocals, these songs would have little-to-no surface-level overlap – the Venn Diagram is vast, to say the least. Dive a little deeper, though, and the similarities reveal themselves in Mumble Tide’s songwriting: From the subtle, hair-raising nuances of their introspective and soul-searching lyrics, to their undeniable penchant for cathartic, emotionally charged climaxes, “Kindest” and “The Start Over” are sonic siblings – a sister and brother that tend to clash at times, but nevertheless get along and, deep down, love each other to bits.

Together with this spring’s single “Hotel Life,” these two tracks represent the continuation of a new era in Mumble Tide’s arc following their critically acclaimed Everything Ugly. Co-produced with Ellie Mason of London-based alternative band Voka Gentle, these songs present Mumble Tide at their most raw, and their most refined.

“Kindest” is an especially moving addition to the band’s repertoire, and is sure to be a fan favorite for years to come. Soothing yet still spine-chilling, the sweet song aches from the inside out as Leonard reckons with feelings of guilt and longing, conveying an inner churn that so many of us struggle to express in our day-to-day lives:

heard the keys in your hand
I’m in and out over the sand
I saw your name cover up the screen
I’ll love you forever and know what it means
now I’ve got nothing
water’s rushing through the door
I leave it open for what
a hammer in my heart, metal in my blood
stones in my throat, holes in my love
I thought time would give
more than this
there’s a hook in my cheek
yea when we kiss
you have no idea

“‘Kindest’ is about those shady thoughts you try to lock up inside yourself, about feeling weird and scared and guilty. It’s potentially our favourite track we’ve ever made together,” Leonard tells Atwood Magazine, smiling as she explains. “The arrangements are more sophisticated than our normal kiddy vibe and we feel good about (hopefully) having pulled that off.”

“‘Kindest’ is the second song after ‘Hotel Life’ from a set of tracks we made over the last 12 months as we tried (and failed) to rebuild our lives,” she continues. “We’d been fans of Ellie Mason’s work for years, and when Ryan clocked that she had the same favourite Taylor Swift record (1989), we were super keen to co-produce this batch with her. She instantly understood what we were trying to do and we spent five days at her studio enhancing the chaotic demos we’d been dragging around the UK with us. Everything she added and tweaked injected energy and harmony into the tracks and she perfectly captured the emotions in each song. She made it seem so effortless too – she’s a clever bunny.”

If “Kindest” is buttery soft, then “The Start Over” is more like a razor’s edge – or sharp-edged and deep-grooved like a walnut (kindly forgive this terrible metaphor). Mumble Tide hold nothing back as they erupt with fiery fervor and dazzling energy, churning double bass drums and hard-hitting lyrics like, “Would you let the overflow come out of my mouth? Come out of my eyes again; I need to get out of here.”

More chills shoot through us from head to toe as Leonard once again exposes the deepest, most intimate parts of her self, this time bringing her audience into her inner sanctum through vulnerable lyrics given an unapologetically impassioned performance – delivered alongside some truly breathtaking, shockwave-inducing electric guitar solos that would make Ray Toro proud.

Give me a year back
Give me a cold shoulder
Give me a hot outfit
Give me an excuse to start over
Give me a bottle, give me a wall
Give me another try
Give me a ribbon and some scissors

“‘The Start Over’ is about self-doubt, and feeling stuck and bad and misunderstood and ugly and boring. When we were working with Ellie on it, she described it as feeling like ‘Gina is trying to scramble to the top of all the noise, but keeps getting knocked back,'” Leonard says. “I think I was pretty fed up with myself around that time and wanted to let it all out, in the hope that I could start over. It’s probably the angriest vocal I’ve delivered so far.”

Mumble Tide © 2023
Mumble Tide © 2023

And out that anger, Mumble Tide truly have given us one of the most memorable – if not unexpected! – musical moments of the year. Sonically and production-wise, “The Start Over” is unforgettable. Speaking to Atwood, Ryan Rogers explains that the song has been kicking around in different forms since 2021.

“I think it was originally intended to be a quick follow up to our mini-album Everything Ugly, but once the post-COVID vinyl delay created a few humps for us, we ended up saving it to work on with Ellie last summer,” he shares. “It was one where I’d written the music in the studio and Gina wrote the lyrics and melody over it. I’d been listening to an absolute ton of ’00s Kerrang!-era emo stuff – I’ve got a real guilty sweet spot for that – particularly the album Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance. I really wanted to make something with the kind of fast pace, kick snare patterns that breed of metalcore/pop punk stuff uses. To be fair the whole thing ended up feeling nothing like a My Chem track, I actually think it has a kind of country feel to some of it? Maybe not.”

“Something I love about working with Gina is that the reference points from our teen years are totally different – like if I write something harking back to emo stuff, she won’t write from that reference point; she’ll do something unexpected over it and it’ll normally totally save the track,” he adds. “Also, huge shout out to Tim Rowkins for his mix on this one. We worked with Tim a few years back on a since-abandoned pop record, and when he agreed to work on Mumble Tide we were very excited, especially after hearing his work on the last Rina Sawayama record, which we both loved. He really brought out the noise and intensity in the choruses. Tracks like this can sometimes end up feeling a bit linear, but he really knows how to play with dynamics and bring little details to the foreground.”

He lost his patience
Said I’ve got a memory like a sieve
How come I can’t forget
How come I can’t forgive
How come my skin is paper
Did you wanna write your name
Did you wanna scribble all over me
I’m always up for stains
Is it boring?
Mumble Tide © 2023
Mumble Tide © 2023

Mumble Tide’s music is a simultaneous punch to the gut, to the ears, and to the heart.

Immersive, intense, and all-consuming in the best of ways, their two latest singles showcase the best this Bristol band have to offer. From cinematic softness to breathtaking sonic booms, “Kindness” and “The Start Over” are two of 2023’s most exhilarating releases, solidifying Mumble Tide’s deserving place as an artist to watch in 2024.

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Stream: “The Start Over” – Mumble Tide

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The Start Over - Mumble Tide

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