As lockdown 2.0 makes its way over to Melbourne, Thomas Byrne releases his sincere single "Breaking Waves" for listeners to find peace.
Written prior to the pandemic, Thomas Byrne felt that the lyrical message fits perfectly with the world as we know it. A beautiful song mixed and mastered by Harts, "Breaking Waves" speaks on the social topics of mental health, unrequited love, and the debilitating feeling of isolation/loneliness.
With a variety of keys and celestial synth progressions, Thomas Byrne's calming single reminds us to hold onto faith with each empowering lyric he confidently delivers.
"Breaking Waves" begins with filtered keys playing a moody and melancholy melody, yet once the transcendent synths rain down, the track transforms into this heavy introspective, and enlightening tune. Thomas Byrne's vocals enter the track with nothing but peace and tranquility, while he sings lyrics of breaking out of old habits and fulfilling himself with actions that better oneself.
As the song progresses, the underlying keys and synths create a beautifully vivid atmosphere with each echo. The track gradually builds into a soaring and psychedelic instrumental that effortlessly feeds the soul. We have the repeat button on for this beautiful single, and in regards to hopeful and optimistic isolation songs, Thomas Byrne's "Breaking Waves" takes the cake.
Listen to "Breaking Waves" here.
Hello Thomas and welcome to BuzzMusic. Seeing as you wrote the emotional single "Breaking Waves" before the pandemic struck, why did you choose to release it now during Melbourne's second lockdown?
Well, I actually wrote about 75% of ‘Breaking Waves’ just before the pandemic hit. I wrote the second verse, the bridge, and recorded the song during the first few weeks of lockdown. I chose to release it now as these feelings of anxiety, social isolation, and unrequited love were coming back when lockdown 2.0 was announced. So I felt my audience would connect with the transparency, rawness, and vulnerability now more than ever.
Your lyrical message within "Breaking Waves" is incredibly sound, serene, and emotional. What did you want your audience to take away from your lyrics?
I am glad that the serene message translated. I think in a way I wanted to normalize feelings of loneliness, social isolation, and unrequited love. Then I wanted my audience to think about ways they can ground themselves when the ‘thinking mind’ takes over.
What kind of feeling and atmosphere did you want listeners to grasp from the instrumentals within "Breaking Waves?" How did you craft the sonics to create such a mesmerizing space?
Great question. So there are a few sounds going on in ‘Breaking Waves’, but I would say it is still fairly stripped back. Primarily, I kept myself to a single vocal track. This was to create the raw, transparent, and vulnerable feeling which is portrayed in the lyrics. The atmosphere created is as if I am talking straight into the microphone, akin to a Shakespeare soliloquy. For instance, at the end of the second verse, I speak “but instead” straight into the microphone after I sing “sometimes I wish I could just fall in love”. The foundational keyboard sound is a swirling Rhodes in stereo with another replica Rhodes which is running straight as a mono sound. These keyboard sounds work perfectly with the theme of a relationship breakdown when I sing “I’m trying so hard to keep the sanity” – a certain questioning of my fluctuating isolation headspace. The second sound is an effect to create the oceanic atmosphere. The third sound which is probably the most prominent is a retro-synth sound. Listeners have compared it to the retro-wave soundtracks of current tv-series like Stranger Things. This was to create a certain cinematic nostalgia in my audience. As lockdown feels comparable to a classic Sci-Fi film. All of this layered with a modern-sounding bass-synth creates that mesmerizing sonic atmosphere.
During Melbourne's current and second lockdown, do you think you'll be creating more music that notes your current view and perspective of what's going on (internally and externally)?
Another great question. I have the goal of releasing something every two months before the end of the year. I don’t want to reveal too much, but the next song was written in the midst of lockdown 1.0. I posted a demo on my Instagram the week before a catalyst event with the lyrics “division this world’s in; we gotta let go”. It is therefore my hope we can find some inner peace amidst the current events. After that, I plan to release an upbeat groovy track as we head into Spring and Summer in Melbourne, Australia. I am currently deciding whether to collate these into an EP.
What has been keeping you inspired throughout 2020?
At the beginning of lockdown in March I was missing gigs so I decided to jump on the #Elisecollab with Elise Trouw. My first recording jamming along to her drum sample was favorited and reposted on her page, so that inspired me to upgrade my home set-up and record a collection of originals. I have also had some inspiration from artists such as JJ Heller and Dave Barnes when they liked my renditions of their songs. I am also planning on writing a soundtrack to a short film written by Darya Bradshaw who I met during quarantine as part of her documentary on creatives during the lockdown. She is a filmmaker from New York who is currently editing the music video for Breaking Waves and has been keeping me inspired since March 2020. Lastly, I have to mention my cats as they keep me grounded with their ability to stay present during these unprecedented times.