The downtrodden-indie of ‘Let It All Go’ suggests that the partnership between Rhodes and Birdy is one to persist with
Rhodes’ earliest releases betrayed a writer whose music was touched by sadness and Let It All Go is of the same tone, opening with a mournful piano line and Rhodes calling out from the distance, unsettled and full of uncertainty, with hope having deserted him.
Answering his call is Birdy. Her trademark rich vocal is juxtaposed by her message, as she offers: “There’s a light on the road and I think you know, morning has come and I have to go.” And truly mourning has come, as Rhodes struggles to come to terms with the evaporation of love. Yet as the narrative evolves, against a backdrop of subtle melodic release, Birdy encourages Rhodes that he won’t be beaten and belittles love’s power to take hold of him. Let It All Go closes in a literal sense, with Birdy asserting: “Who says truth is beauty after all and who says love should break us when we fall/But if we’re strong enough to let it in we’re strong enough to let it go.”
Let It All Go ticks all the boxes needed for downtrodden indie; it’s battered but not beaten and owes its direction to battle-hardened reason. Musically the tempo is kept gentle and, though fragile, it never feels self-serving. It brings together two writers whose approach is perfectly matched and suggests this is a songwriting partnership that should extend beyond a lone single.
Verdict: Affecting and reassuring indie