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P!nk – Trustfall

The musical landscape has been graced with many pop artists over the years, but few have the endurance and staying power of Alecia Beth Moore, more commonly known as P!nk. The powerhouse vocalist has proven time and time again that she can spend years on the road between albums and still manage to reinvent and reinsert herself into the musical conversation as though she never left. Just when you think she might not have more to say, she’ll quickly prove you wrong. TRUSTFALL, the singer’s ninth studio album, is a testament to this fact, and it showcases an artist who has matured while still having fun along the way.

TRUSTFALL is, in some ways, a tale of two varying paths. One path, is her ever-present pop road, which features the anthemic and uplifting songs that P!nk has become known for delivering album after album. The other path is a more folksy and ‘Americana’ a road in which P!nk has travelled more frequently in recent years. What is most impressive, however, is that she is able to navigate both worlds, finding success in each and presenting them in a way that feels interconnected.

The first track on the album, When I Get There, sets the tone for an emotional journey that explores themes of grief and love. P!nk, in a heartfelt tribute to her late father who passed away from prostate cancer in late 2021, pours her heart out in this sombre yet beautiful ballad. The piano-driven melody and P!nk’s vocals blend perfectly to create a sad yet uplifting tribute that lingers in the listener’s mind long after the track has ended.

The lyrics in the chorus are particularly touching as P!nk asks her father if there is a bar in heaven where he has a favorite chair, sitting with friends, and discussing the weather. The sentimentality of the words is apparent as P!nk longs for a sense of connection with her father, even in the afterlife.

Following the poignant opener, the album takes a sudden turn with the anthemic title track, Trustfall. The pace picks up, and the powerful energy is intense. Featuring a pulsing synth and heavy beat, this track is a stark contrast to the prior ballad. Nonetheless, it works well as it showcases the range of emotions that P!nk explores throughout the album, from grief to anger and everything in between. The contrast of these two tracks highlights the emotional waves of the album and sets the stage for a journey that promises to be both heart-wrenching and exhilarating.

A great example of this is the standout track, Turbulence.  It combines the elements of traditional rock and ambient pop, resulting in a strangely compelling sound encounter. P!nk’s passionate and inspirational vocals express a hint of sorrow in this mid-tempo ballad, as she emphasizes the idea that the difficulties of life are “just turbulence” and are only temporary.

Trustfall also features unique collaborations on the album, featuring three standout artists across different genres. One of these collaborations is with the beloved folk band, The Lumineers, on the soul-stirring track Long Way To Go. The slow and steady rhythm allows for the blending of Wesley Schultz and P!nk’s vocals which brings a depth of emotion that is sure to resonate with listeners.

The second notable collaboration on the album is with Swedish sisters First Aid Kit on the country-inspired track Kids In Love. Their harmonies are perfectly complemented by the acoustic guitar that underscores the song, giving it a rustic and nostalgic feel. The lyrics explore the longing for the simplicity and innocence of youth, and the haunting harmonies in which all three voices just melt together is truly moving.

The album’s final collaboration is with country superstar Chris Stapleton on the duet Just Say I’m Sorry. Despite its country roots, the track is surprisingly more of a ballad than a typical country song. P!nk and Stapleton’s vocals blend seamlessly, creating a sense of intimacy and raw emotion that is both powerful and heartbreaking.

In all three collaborations, P!nk shows her ability to work with different artists from various genres and create something truly unique and beautiful. Trustfall proves that she is not afraid to experiment with her sound and collaborate with others, resulting in an album that is diverse and captivating.

P!nk’s Never Gonna Not Dance Again is a shining example of her talent for crafting uplifting and anthemic pop music that motivates listeners to maintain a positive attitude in the face of difficult circumstances. The song’s lyrics, particularly the line One thing I’m never gonna do is throw away my dancing shoes, serve as a powerful call to action for any individual who may be struggling, inspiring them to keep dancing and persevering.

One of the highlights, and my personal favourite, of Trustfall is the catchy pop-punk tune Hate Me, which is a welcome surprise amidst the other tracks. With its snarling electric guitars and just-cheesy-enough lyrics, with its driving and defiant lyrics, it is infectious with a “shout-along-in-your-car” classic old school rock sound. Haters gonna hate!!!

Last Call, the acoustic-driven mid-tempo anthem, brings a refreshing shift by infusing a ’90s pop-rock vibe. The song continues the albums’ theme of positivity despite overwhelming challenges. P!nk’s lyrics, “Last call before the world ends/ Right before the avalanche/ Last call for us to make amends,” serve as a powerful reminder to seize the moment and reconcile before it’s too late. It’s as if this is the last chance to do so before everything comes crashing down.

Trustfall takes listeners on a fascinating exploration of love, grief, and personal growth. P!nk’s signature soulful vocals serving as the backbone of the album. As always, P!nk has expertly woven her personal experiences into the fabric of her music, resulting in a collection of tracks that are both relatable and inspiring.

One of the keys to P!nk’s longevity and success in the music industry is her ability to collaborate with some of the biggest names in music, giving her a versatile and contemporary sound that resonates with audiences across generations. This is evident in Trustfall, where P!nk effortlessly incorporates a range of genres and styles into her music, keeping her sound fresh and relevant.

It’s no surprise that P!nk has remained a fixture in the music industry for over two decades, thanks to her multiple hits and ever-evolving sound. With Trustfall, P!nk continues to prove that she is a force to be reckoned with, creating music that speaks to the heart of listeners everywhere

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Album InterviewsInterviews

Interview with Conrad Sewell

Conrad Sewell may have the down-to-earth candor of a pub singer, but his voice belongs in stadiums. “I still get butterflies just before going on,” Sewell says with a glint in his eye, his golden hair peeking under a wide-brimmed black hat. “It’s like jumping out of a plane. I love it.”

The acclaimed Brisbane-born singer and songwriter, 34, has been singing professionally since age 12, long enough to appreciate the effect his voice has on people. Case in point, 2015’s “Start Again,” a spare piano ballad showcasing Sewell’s powerhouse range, went to Number One in Australia from his debut studio album, LIFE.

So when it came to recording his long-awaited follow-up, PRECIOUS (out March 3 via Sony Music Entertainment Australia) Sewell was adamant: it needed to sound raw. “I’ve never sounded as good on a record as I do in person,” he says. “There’s just a power there that doesn’t come across any other way.”

Sewell started with a personal playlist of 60s, 70s and 80s soul pop and rock greats—Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, George Michael, and more—as his musical north star. Then he spent six weeks in Jackson Browne’s Santa Monica studio, where he wrote, produced, and cut all of the new material the old-fashioned way: in-person and with a cadre of like-minded soul addicts, including John Mayer guitarist Zane Carney and Black Crowes’ keyboardist Adam MacDougall.

“There were definitely those moments where we’re thinking, ‘Are people going to get it? Are these slick enough for radio?’” Sewell says. “But then we were like, you know what, we need to make this the album we’ve been dreaming of. There’s a lot of heart in this music, and it’s important for the world to hear some stuff like that now.”

The stripped down approach with PRECIOUS represented personal unburdening for Sewell—of all the expectations he never felt he was meeting in the music industry. Sewell signed his first major label deal at age 17. Sewell had the whole package: boy-band good looks, endless charisma, and a pliable soprano that conveyed the emotional depth of someone twice his age.

He spent years touring the world and finetuning his sound, first in the pop band The Frets, then the rock band Sons of Midnight. Sewell rebranded as a solo act after his song with the Norwegian DJ/producer Kygo, “Firestone,” ignited the charts across Europe. Before long, Sewell was opening arenas for superstars like Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, and Jess Glynne.

But in retrospect, Sewell questioned whether he was artistically ready to walk through the doors that kept opening for him. “I was like a puppet,” Sewell says. “I loved to write, so when someone would tell me to write an album like Calvin Harris, or Sam Smith, or whatever, I did it. But when it didn’t connect, I questioned everything. Is it me? Am I not good enough? What am I missing?”

After a long period of disillusionment, Sewell made it to the other side. PRECIOUS tells that intensely personal story, scars and all, from a sweeping array of musical vantage points: there are orchestral swells, Houses of the Holy guitar solos, Daptone-style blues, and even bagpipes.

“Ego,” Sewell says, is the song that encapsulates the album. The bluesy track begins with hushed brass and syncopation that slaps you across the face. Sewell enters the confessional and holds nothing back. “I’m the ultimate people pleaser,” Sewell says, “And this song is really about me getting over those tendencies, letting go of my ego, and having an honest look at myself.”

PRECIOUS kicks off with the vibrant punch of “God Save The Queen,” a Stones-y party jam about shaking off the invisible chains holding you down. “Ferris Wheel” is Sewell’s ode to big, harmonica-blessed heartland rock. It’s hard not to think of John Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen as Sewell sings of flashbacks and fairgrounds over a sun-dappled southern guitar. Similarly, “Believer” thrums the electric intensity of chasing an unrequited love. “Said you would leave me for dead, but I woke up in your bed,” Sewell purrs.

Many of the songs find Sewell channeling his pain into the desire for romantic redemption that may never come, as on the spectral power ballad “Rolling Thunder. “Just know that we’re broken/ So many words left unspoken,” he sings.

“Caroline” offers the colder side of “Ferris Wheel.” It’s a gorgeous string and acoustic-guitar ode to the long drives and glistening night skies of young love. “Slipping Away” follows that nostalgic thread (“If I could hold you again, I would/ Gotta lay down my pride”) but with a sensual, ‘70s flair. Here, Sewell’s falsetto reaches Bee Gee altitudes, as he basks in the glow of a ripping saxophone.

On “Blood Sugar” Sewell wields his heart like a ten-pound hammer. “Losing you was not my plan,” he sings. “It’s safe to say/ It comes in waves.”

All of this emotionality builds to “Precious,” the album’s undeniable tour de force. The song was originally a ballad until Adam suggested doing a take that was faster, rougher around the edges. “I swear to God, it was like Joe Cocker came into the room and took over my body for six minutes,” Sewell says, still incredulous. “I started singing in this different voice, freestyling all the verses and everything that came out of my mouth just made perfect sense.”

Just as Sewell said when he set out to make this record, the final version is nearly identical to that raw cut. And with all due respect to the ghost of Joe Cocker, Sewell wasn’t possessed in that take. He was experiencing, maybe for the first time, what it is to be truly free.

“My gut’s always right but I never trusted it,” Sewell says in his gentle, self-deprecating way. “It took hitting fucking rock bottom for me to realize my music depends on me believing in myself.”

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