Overall score: 9/10
Pro: Intimate and Vulnerable
Essential Track: Chemicals
Smashing open Dark & Beautiful Secrets with the hard hitting Babylon, Normandie are setting the scene for their third album that has justifiably been referred to as stunning. Releasing their inner demons one track at a time, Dark and Beautiful Secrets is hauntingly honest and has been described as ‘the first opportunity for fans to hear the band as they truly are’, with these words holding as true as the lyrics contained within it. Deciding to be as intimate as possible, Sweden’s best kept secret face their truth, with each track tapping into personal experience, tearing down their walls, brick by brick and bulldozing a new statement.
Pouring their heart out and taking us down the rabbit hole of emotions, Normandie lyrically self-proclaimed ‘We dig so deep we have gone through the bottom’, which could easily be a tagline for the album. Encapsulating the mood succinctly, its title Dark & Beautiful Secrets proves the beauty of bringing to light, something you’ve buried deep down inside. Providing the order of service, with first chapter Jericho, each single of the thought provoking Holy Water, fragile Atmosphere, the internalising Babylon and latest offering Hostage, acts as a page being torn from this untold story. With each aspect of the album, painting a picture of past identities that, just like the album artwork, is as naked as the truth should be.
Stepping out of the shadow of previous albums inguz and White Flag, building on Normandie’s anthemic sound with its explosive choruses and seductive melodies, Dark & Beautiful Secrets refuses to hide in plain sight. With each song sounding like a deadly sin, concluding track Chemicals puts love and lust under the microscope and examines the lessons learnt with confusing the two. Lowering us into our final resting place, Dark & Beautiful Secrets pays tribute to the old, allowing for the rebirth of the new and the freedom to be true to yourself.
Dark & Beautiful Secrets – Track Listing:
- Holy Water
- Bury Me Alive
- Thrown in the Gutter
Normandie – Dark & Beautiful Secrets will be out on February 19 via Easy Life Records and is available for pre-order here.
We recently caught up with Philip Strand, check out the interview here.