Anneke Van Giersbergen is one of the most talented and versatile musicians I have come across. You can’t simply pigeonhole her into one genre of music. Her latest release The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest proves this. Through mesmerising lyrics and music, Anneke lays her soul bare on this record and it’s her most personal one. Each song captivated me in different ways across the album and due to the vast diversity in her songs, it deserves one of my rare track by track reviews. Here’s what went down.
I decided to sit outside as Spring is around the corner, I’m glad I did. The opening tones of Agape matched the Spring surroundings. It was a breath of fresh air. I couldn’t wait to hear what was coming up next.
With it’s marching beats and low tones, Hurricane wouldn’t be out of a place in a Western film. I can imagine riding a horse across a vast desert as this track plays.
By the time the beautiful sounds of My Promise started to play, I decided to stop taking notes and just immerse myself into this impeccable album. I realised this record was special and needed my full attention. I also admire the variety of sounds from these first tracks.
QUEEN’s pounding anthem We Will Rock You came to mind in when the beat was first heard in I Saw A Car. With it’s upbeat and quirky sounds, this became a personal favourite track quite quickly.
The first thing I notice about The Soul Knows is the relatable lyrics. From what I understand, it’s about taking risks and leaving your comfort zone to try and fix things from a broken relationship to figuring out what you want from life. Lyrics such as “Everything you say or do, puts you under pressure” and “Leave your sanctuary behind” are examples of what I mean. Note, this my interpretation of the lyrics, feel free to agree or disagree.
Lyrically, The End tugs on the heartstrings and I know a lot of people will relate to the beautiful song writing. From what I understand, the lyrics describe losing a loved one or a breakup. Again, this my interpretation of the lyrics, feel free to agree or disagree. It’s rare for songs to bring my emotions to the surface and this is what The End did. I should note that’s twice one of Anneke’s songs has done this, the other being My Mother Said.
One of things my Nan tells me is that she likes to keep things simple. That was my first thought when the track Keep It Simple started to play, both my Nan and I like to keep things simple whenever we can. The quirky beats and upbeat tones provided some light-hearted relief from the heavy emotion I experienced in the track before. I love the message in this track, it’s OK if you don’t know where your life is going, keep it simple.
Lo And Behold is another favourite track on the record. From the opening notes, I was heavily immersed and in my own world. One thing I can say, I can’t wait for live shows and experience this live.
Losing You has a beautiful melody and haunting lyrics to match. One of the many things to note about this song is the flawless and captivating harmonies within the vocals.
From the upbeat tones and empowering lyrics, Survive is that get up and go song that gives you motivation. In fact, when the song literally made me get up and go when it started to playing. This is another personal favourite track on the album.
Love You Like I Love You is the beacon of hope at the end of a troubled time. You hear this through the heart-warming music and lyrics.
The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest is a breath of fresh air and a beacon of hope. It shows us that you don’t need to be loud to have your voice heard. It’s a special record that requires your undivided attention.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest is out now.
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