Label: Foxfive Records
Released: 21st September 2018
Black Honey. Even the name drips off the tongue, summoning up murky images of sweetness mixed with a persuasive, seductive dark side. And so it is with their long-awaited self-titled debut album, a record that takes their previous tendency of sounding like an undiscovered Tarantino or Morricone film score and gives it one hell of a shiny mirrorball-powered pop upgrade.
Refreshingly resisting the temptation to include any of their superb early singles, this is an album that confirms the Brighton band as a bright new force in the pop world. Setting off with ‘I Only Hurt The Ones I Love’ before going stratospheric with uber-banger ‘Midnight’, the record instantly grabs hold and places you in the passenger seat of a (probably) stolen car for a wild drive through the night. Channelling the spirit of Lana Del Rey at points, Izzy B. Phillips captures the same heady balance of sadness and quiet resolve on many of the tracks while the rest of the group whip up an atmospheric storm around her, proving Black Honey are not just a one-woman band.
There is such a sure-footed understanding of how style and tone can build a mood on display here that it catches your breath at points, carrying the album through a middle section that lacks the earlier high banger ratio. The likes of ‘Crowded City’ and ‘Baby’ offer up a more vulnerable side to Izzy than has been seen before, but it is in the final third of the album that Black Honey once again put their feet down on the accelerator and shoot into the night. After the gentle surf rock vibes and irresistible melody of ‘Dig’ drifts into the vibrancy of ‘Just Calling’, the epic ‘Wasting Time’ rounds off a superb debut that instantly mags at you for a repeat play.