Singer-songwriter Freya Ward returns with her latest EP, Written with Hindsight. It has a tough task of following up her impressive debut By The Sea. However, these new tracks created additional challenges. She says “Written with Hindsight is exactly that. A collection of songs that were too difficult to write at the time. It’s a breakup record written way after the event, which faces up to difficult realities, too close to admit at the time. It was written with anger, pain, despair, joy, and finally reconciliation and understanding. It was only after going through all those emotions, with the benefit of space, that the tracks on Written With Hindsight were born”.
For those who are not aware of Ward’s music, “Say Something” is the perfect introduction. It is also a great way to begin this release. Her beautiful vocals come in to share the opening lines “Why am I the only one to start the fight? / You just lie there / never talking / always right / Why don’t you speak? / Why don’t you speak?”. Instantly the listener is drawn in by warm and emotive tone which bring her words to life. Mid-way through, these stop to give the atmospheric sound to take the spotlight. It features her captivating fingerpicking style, which stands out as much as her voice.
“Go Easy on Me” starts with more of Ward’s hypnotic guitar style. Then her familiar soothing vocal tone comes in. She tells a tale about asking someone to be patient during a testing time of a relationship. It is difficult not to be caught up in the emotion that this song has to offer. Especially during the chorus and its lines “Go easy on me / Go easy on me / Go easy on me / I try, you know I try”.
So far, Ward has let her vocal talents shine and “Lull Yourself to Sleep” is no exception. Especially when she shares the hook “So lull yourself to sleep / Sink into your dreams / And darling I will meet you there / you there”. However, it is her music which steals the show. The various instruments blend to create an atmospheric sound. Her arrangement is as emotive as her voice to help enhance the listening experience.
During Ward’s debut release, her lyrics were an impressive side to her songwriting. They have depth and honesty that said so much. A trait continues throughout Written with Hindsight. One song which highlights this quality is “That Place Where I Belong”. As soon as it begins, the listener becomes drawn into her tale. It helps with opening lines such as “There was a time when I felt safe / It was nestled in your arms / With your hands on mine and my face pressed against yours”.
She paints so much emotion with her words and with her voice. This combination stands out further with “I’m putting on a brave face in case you stop to ask me how I’m doing / And I should be fine, cos this was my idea / I’m putting on a brave face / In case we start to reminisce, how we ended up here / Don’t remind me dear”.
‘Written in Hindsight’ delivers a more honest collection of songs by Freya Ward
The tempo switches to more of a sunnier feel with “After Everything & Me”. Its toe-tapping energy is infectious from the outset to its finale. The various instruments are arranged to create this captivating feel. The lyrics reflect the mood as Ward delivers an upbeat farewell to the end of a relationship. This is highlighted with the lines “I wish you the best / I wish you everything you want / I hope you’ve everything you need and that you’ve found something more / Oh I wish you the best and I hope that finally / After everything, and me / I hope that you, you, find what you’re looking for”.
Ward saves her best for last with “I Would Do It All Again”. From the start, her fingerpicking style is emotive to set up the mood for the song. Then her tale begins “I would do it all again / I’d pick up my shoes and I’d run with my hand holding tight onto yours / Like you’re anchoring me, so I don’t fly away with the wind”. Her storytelling quality has an honesty and depth that showcases her lyrical talents. Her words paint a scene which includes so much soul.
Written in Hindsight is an evolution of the music created on her debut EP in 2018. Her vocals and guitar style has become stronger. But, it is the depth and honesty of her lyrics which has improved the most. Freya Ward deserves the praise she will receive with this release.