The Beautiful Fear – “Back to England”


A track out today from UK singer/songwriter The Beautiful Fear, “Back to England” recounts a harrowing personal experience amidst moody guitars and organ-laden backing, rising into fervent doses of guitar distortion in the second half. The project represents the work of Matthew Bannister, whose songwriting proves commanding with layers of depth — here, reflecting on a pull to return home amidst tumult.

“I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to say something deeply profound,” he lets out there, with a reflection-gazing engrossment; the sequence here shows shades of Pink Floyd in its spacious psych-friendly emissions. “Back to England” presents a chilling narrative that’s entirely true, set against a moving arrangement propelled by dynamic guitars and key-laden atmospherics.

“The song is about being held at knife point on a flight from JFK to Heathrow in 1977. I was 10 and traveling alone…” Bannister explains. “The song is also about a nomadic life at 30,000 feet and an increasing magnetic pull to return ‘home.’ The lyrics jump back and forward in time from WWII to Jan 6th. The punchline happens in the verse that starts at 2:38.”

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of October 2023’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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