With a series of titles designed and dedicated to expressing adoration and love for a significant other, Imbred’s tenth album this year is one compiled as a Christmas gift for a girl and is rightfully loaded with relevant ideas and optimism. Best Friend kicks things off and showcases an immediate brightness that’s been previously unheard of throughout much of Imbred’s work. The concept is loving, heartfelt and honest, and things continue to shine in this manner throughout.
Girlfriend continues with the outpouring of complimentary observations and emotions. The sound is bright yet again, uplifting and energizing in a punk-pop fashion – a fair step away from the artist’s usual grunge darkness. Having said that though, you recognise the sound from the offset – the leading voice and the sheer manic energy of the music is clearly the work of Imbred. There’s character in everything he does, and you can hear this always, throughout 4 Taylor, only this time the songwriting has a different set of ideals in mind.
Taylor’s Love offers a little insight into the relationship – regret, memory, missing someone and longing for the past. The high delicacy of the voice stands in stark contrast with the weight and fuzz of the music, so you notice the song – particularly the hook. In true Nirvana fashion, Love song #309 follows and adds acoustic intimacy to the project, which is actually totally refreshing. The details, the bare nature of the vocal, the realness – all of this is beautiful, particularly when contrasted with the intensity of what came before. The Twenty One Pilots mention as her favourite band is just one example of those details and intricacies that make this a very genuine and honest moment within the project.
Butterfly follows with a similar mood, the grunge aura still exists but there’s a gentle beauty walking hand in hand with that. This song is a definite highlight for the way it fuses weight and softness, and for the strength of the melody and the use of contrast or emotional conflict within the lyrics – you make me smile and you make me cry… I’m feeling fine not feeling at all…
Friend brings back the fuzz and the chaotic pace – the energy flies high again and the song pours through like classic grunge; though still with that familiar, almost whispered leading vocal style. Girl follows and is one of the most instrumentally interesting tracks on the project. A mildly psychedelic soundscape pans in and out of the mix, alongside of a single vocal that again offers so much personal truth and lays out a sense of vulnerability that’s easy to appreciate and connect with.
The final song on this album highlights further the extent to which this girl has affected the central character or songwriter. The ukulele is an unexpected touch, as is much of the optimism and positivity found throughout the playlist. Love lifts us up in often unpredictable ways, and this album is a testament to that honor. Undoubtedly one of the most eclectic and enjoyable releases of Imbred’s to date. Hopefully the gift went down well with whomever it was intended for.