‘It’s an outpouring of acceptance that’s bold, bright, and a little heartbreaking too.’
Intro to Blue Fish Diamond
Across the media, stories of loneliness, desperation and declining mental health are extensively covered, but indie rock outfit Blue Fish Diamond seek to forge a shaft of light in this seemingly never ending darkness. With a sound as unique as their name, and a whopping seven members, the Dublin based band harness the power and skill of each and every musician to create compelling, emotive music. Forming in 2016, their 2018 debut album ‘From Dark’ was pegged as ‘powerful and heartfelt’, and this new release very much follows in this vein. Overflowing with gorgeously vivid imagery and storytelling, ‘Sunshine In My Brain’ (produced by Gavin Glass at Orphan Recording Studios), speaks to the desperation experienced by many people, and offers a message of hope and solace.
Opening with gorgeous echoing piano and genteel drums, the slow pace sets a calming atmosphere for lead singer Jim Murphy’s ethereal vocals. Strings then subtly glide in shortly after, with the gradual building of texture surrounding the listener with a comforting warmth. It’s beautiful. Equally, the use of metaphorical weather references to represent experiences of mental health generate stunning mental imagery. Phrases such as ‘rain has stopped but it’s never going away’ feel poignant and wonderfully poetic. They normalise the experiences of mental health too, and in acknowledging the sometimes swinging nature of internal emotions you feel soothed.
Expanding on the intentions behind the track, and highlighting how aware the band are of conversations in this area being pushed further into the public’s consciousness, lead vocalist Jim says: “We live in a time where anxiety and despair are increasingly commonplace, but also a time where there is greater openness about mental health issues and where hope exists through communal support.”
Taking this understanding into their music, the sense of communal support is achieved with great delicacy in ‘Sunshine In My Brain’, utilising effortless vocal harmonies to create a collective spirit. As the narrator shares his conversation with the old man imparting wisdom, the listener is given a space to reflect on their own experiences and find their own ‘little sunshine in the rain’.
The band hoped that the track would be a ‘song for today’s world’ and that ‘listening to it [would have] a cathartic effect against the challenges that we all face whether ongoing or from time to time’. Given the atmosphere of the entire track, but especially how it concludes we would whole heartedly say they have achieved just that.
Building towards an almost exultant crescendo, a moment that feels like a celebration of a new dawn occurs. A sensation of reaching and grabbing hold of that all important sunshine perhaps. Ultimately though, it’s an outpouring of acceptance, that’s bold, bright, and with stunning stirring strings, a little heartbreaking too.
Guest Writer Track Review by Ella McLaren