Feature: UK’s Bryde Takes on the World with a Feverish Passion in ‘The Volume of Things’

Bryde © 2020
Bryde © 2020

Mitch's Take

A sophomore record of intimate outpourings and impassioned upheavals, ‘The Volume of Things’ finds UK artist Bryde striking a balance in chaos and finding comfort in instability as she reckons with the world around her and the world within.
for fans of Angie McMahon, Lauran Hibberd, G Flip

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It’s not easy to make music that feels both wholeheartedly raw and full of energy all at once, yet it comes second nature to Bryde in her sophomore album. A record of intimate outpourings and impassioned upheavals, The Volume of Things finds UK artist Bryde striking a balance in chaos and finding comfort in instability as she reckons with anxiety and isolation, self-doubt and belonging, desire and disruption in the world around her and the world within.

The Volume of Things - Bryde
The Volume of Things – Bryde
So I’m as restless as a child
Full like a raincloud, this desire
Come around, turn the volume down on violence
We are digging for diamonds in the fire, in the fire
Can I come in, can I be part of this silence?
And leave you with my heart on the outside
Can I come in, can you satisfy this feeling?
I wanted to be more than redeeming,
more than redeeming
– “Silence,” Bryde

Released May 29, 2020 via Easy Life Records, The Volume of Things was not meant to arrive in the midst of a 21st Century global pandemic or right before a seismic protest movement felt around the world, yet its songs of struggle and survival, endurance and staying power seem to not only capture, but also provide the tools for us to process the powerful, meaningful turbulence rippling around the globe.

Bryde – the moniker for Wales-born, Hackney-based singer/songwriter Sarah Howells – spends much of her second album bringing inner tensions to the surface and reckoning with the discord around her. Named an Atwood Editor’s Pick, The Volume of Things’ lead single “The Trouble Is” strikes a perfect mix of grunge and pop, balancing angst with affection. Earlier this year, I wrote how the song “finds Sarah Howells returning to the fore with refreshing poise; in the past two years since the Welsh artist’s debut album Like an Island, Bryde has clearly discovered and rediscovered her sonic identity and crafted something not only truly special, but also a complete entity unto itself. It takes only 200 seconds for Howells to establish Bryde as a resurgent dominant force in the indie rock genre.”

Looking for something
Don’t they always say you’ll know
It’s exactly what you want
’til everything you want outgrows you, owns you
It’s the dry sunshine we ordered
Full of empty promise
It’s the water under bridges
It’s about time that we caught it, isn’t it
I know you wanted something better than this (hey, hey)
I think the trouble is what you want (hey, hey)
I think the trouble is just what gets you off
We’re in the same America
Looking for some way to get it right
The things you think to yourself at night
Hey, yeah
– “The Trouble Is,” Bryde

“The Trouble Is” winds up being a perfect introduction to The Volume of Things as a whole: Its blend of pain and redemption, hurt and hope quite literally “set the record straight” and establish Bryde as a voice for the voiceless – whether that’s been herself at times, or any one of the many who hear her songs and feel a kinship – that knowing, empathic connection we all so desperately need.

“My second album is about wading through the ever-rising volume of information, possessions, opinions, notifications and thoughts that surround us in 2020 to find connection and calm,” Bryde tells Atwood Magazine. “Personally it’s been a journey of discovery, learning to trust my instincts and learn to edit some of the noise and hone in on those people and ideas I want to keep in my life.”

Bryde © 2020
Bryde © 2020 (provided by the artist)

Bryde truly is a rising force in the indie space.

Fans of Angie McMahon, Lauran Hibberd, G Flip, and more will feel at home in the artist’s unabridged lyrics and her untethered, guitar-driven overhauls of sound and feeling. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Bryde’s The Volume of Things with Atwood Magazine as Sarah Howells goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her sophomore album!

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:: stream/purchase The Volume of Things here ::
Stream: ‘The Volume of Things’ – Bryde

:: Inside The Volume of Things ::

The Volume of Things - Bryde

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The Silence

Digging for diamonds in the fire” – this is a song about searching for the moment of stillness and clarity amongst the constant overthinking and anxiety. It’s also about love. For myself and for someone else.

The Trouble Is

This is a song about looking for and finding people to connect with amid the noise and stuff of modern life. It’s about finding affinity with a friend, a country, across the water, realising we’re treading a similar path, making the same mistakes while looking for the same kind of peace of mind.

80 Degrees

This is probably the only song that echoes back to the first album. It’s about evolving after a past relationship and becoming gleefully unrecognisable to that person.

Handing It Over

This is a song about accepting uncertainty and trying to let go of certain kinds of control I still try to exercise over my life when it’s essentially always unpredictable. Still haven’t seen the film Frozen!


Flies is about destructive thoughts around appearance and body image and how the current culture of social media seems to direct us to expose either our bodies or our souls in order to gain attention and validation. The flies are the flurry of negative thoughts around self image. Maybe a result of the constant stream of photos that seem to want to give us the false idea that image is everything.

Paper Cups

This is about communication with someone you love and about pouring your heart out to them, the weight of the words and the feeling of being sometimes half full and sometimes half empty. It’s about conversations over coffee, eaves dropping and tiny bits of paper with my words on them.. floating about somewhere.


“Hallelujahs” is about emancipation and lust. It’s got an ominous feel in some ways, but to me these days it’s actually quite tongue in cheek. Some heroes come in quite unGodly packages. The little nod to Nirvana is and always will be on purpose.

Another Word for Free

This is about finding that rare person or people who you feel comfortable telling your story to. However simple or life-changing that might be.


A post-Brexit love story. I still believe that sometimes my songs come true for me after they’re written. This was written a few years ago and then a year later with someone else, became far more relevant and resonant.


Done is pretty self explanatory. It’s about being fed up with waiting for someone to ‘get you’ and being sick of being played by the person you want. And trying to avoid drunk-texting them proclaiming your love.

The Volume of Things

The track I took the album title from. This is about a change of perspective and shift in paradigm that someone holding up a mirror to you can bring about. It’s about freeing myself from other peoples’ and my own sometimes impossible expectations.

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:: stream/purchase The Volume of Things here ::

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The Volume of Things - Bryde

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📸 © 2020

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Editor’s Picks: March 6, 2020

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