Sticky Sweet is the debut EP from Sheffield four-piece Before Breakfast, combining their strong vocal harmonies and soaring classical influences to create something passionate, honest, and vulnerable.
The EP opens with its title track, immediately capturing your imagination with exquisite harmonies and bewitching lyrics. The pace is slow and steady as it takes you on a trip down Wonderland, seemingly fueled by “sticky sweet” alcohol.
‘Something Good’ follows a similar path, seeking reassurance from another and pushing back against anything telling you not to. It’s basking in the attention of a new crush, pouring in those efforts to look good, be good, be good enough. Doubt is planted in the back of your mind, and you try to ignore the signs, asking “tell me something good” when you know it’ll never last. This song holds a magical complexity that carries through Gina Walters’ beautifully emotive vocals, and it’ll linger in your mind for days.
‘Caravan’ casts beautiful imagery of a lonely trip to the seaside, seeking solitude along the coastline and finding peace amongst the waves. It’s a moment of self-reflection in the chaos of life, escaping to find solace by the sea. We often get so caught up in our work, our chores and commitments, that it’s difficult to take time out and look after what’s important: our minds are like the tide but it can often feel like we’re drowning. It’s in these moments of quiet reflection when we can finally ask: “I know that I’m a work in progress but will I always feel this incomplete?”
There’s something about Before Breakfast that is so honest, so human, that makes their music so utterly compelling to listen to. You’ll find yourself relating to the words as the melodies sooth your soul, giving you the chance to pause for breath and realise what really matters to you.
The final track, ‘Body’, strips away the metaphors and highlights the connection many people have with body image and self-worth. Women have been invisible for too long, making themselves smaller, hiding their bruises and scars: all to appear “perfect”. When you take away the facade, what’s left? In creating ourselves, we sometimes lose sight of what’s really there and it becomes difficult to recognise what really matters: “Is this really what my body is made of?”
Before Breakfast are delicate and strong, like so many women I know, sharing their vulnerabilities, strengths and beautiful complexities with a simple collection of songs. We all contain multitudes, and bands like this should never be underestimated.
Sticky Sweet will be released on International Women’s Day, March 8th, with a live show at Yellow Arch Studios as part of their ‘Women of the Seven Hills’ event.