After premiering overnight with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1, the world gets a fresh new single from You Me At Six. “Beautiful Way” comes hot on the heels of previous single “MAKEMEFEELALIVE” and comes hand in hand with the news that the UK band’s 7th album is on the way! Suckapunch releases on January 15th (yes, in 2021) via Underdog Records/AWAL.
If I’m being honest, I haven’t taken focused time with You Me At Six since Night People (released in 2017) which featured songs like the stunning “Spell It Out” and the heartwarming “Take On The World”. A toe-dipping into the 2018 album VI unfortunately hadn’t proven to be grabbing. But with the arrival of “Beautiful Way”, I am absolutely sitting up and paying attention, with high hopes for this new You Me At Six chapter.
Where press releases are supposed to talk up new releases with enthusiasm, I am most intrigued by the suggestion that the album is the result of embracing change. Vocalist Josh Franceschi was quoted as saying “We have been in the pursuit of happiness for quite some time, both collectively and individually, only to discover that happiness is more than just a state of mind. We had to face our pain head on and carve it into something positive. Our seventh studio album is the result of us finding peace and acceptance of what’s been and gone.” If that quote doesn’t say “We’re creating music that makes us feel alive!”, I don’t know what does, and I’m down for that.
“Love is a drug, but it never comes with a warning”
By way of how the song sounds and feels, “Beautiful Way” comes like a cool rain at first, where rich vocals speak of intoxicating love. A gentle melody grows, making it ever more clear that a connection has gone south, reaching a climactic point at the chorus that hits it all home.
With backing “Hey!”‘s, addictive riffs, all-consuming bass, and a racing pace, the song is a good time despite its hints at the frustration of unrequited love. I adore the rise and falls throughout the track, where determination is palpable, but it relies upon another – which is where things are stuck. This idea is doubled down by the music video which is inspired by the ancient concept of the Red Thread of Fate and invisible bonds between people (like soulmates).
It’s easy to sink into the instrumental section – lost in the rapid rush of searching and wondering – just as much as it’s a joy to float into the more ethereal suspension of love at the bridge. The song speaks like a question mark and wanting something to change, and this desire builds and carries the song to its strong ending. “We’re fucked up in a beautiful way” absolutely sounds like a statement of a tortured kind of love, hey?
[You Me At Six image credit: Daniel Harris]