After the dizzying success of their 2014 album, Rivers in the Wasteland, gained them their first-ever Grammy Award nomination and the top spot on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts, NEEDTOBREATHE’s latest offering truly had to be something special to encourage the rockers’ star to keep rising. So when their sixth studio album, H A R D L O V E,  was released this month, it was with bated breath that fans awaited their follow-up – and WHAT a drop it was.

Packed with grand melodies and the introduction of synth for the first time, the South Carolina natives have returned with a whole new lease of life. From the Southern gospel choir that powers ‘Happiness’ to the bluesy anthem ‘Great Night’, the new tracks are fuelled with a sense of hope and rejuvenation that signify the band turning over a new leaf, both in their new methods of recording and their personal lives.

The more tender ‘Be Here Long’ and ‘Let’s Stay Home Tonight’ are touching tributes to keeping the loved ones in your life close and not taking your time together for granted, intertwined with electric riffs and piano hooks that’ll give you goosebumps. But it’s not all gushy, as the band are at their best with ‘Hard Love’, a motivational powerhouse with a pumping electronic base that will instantly make you want to go for a run (in the style of an epic underdog movie montage), and ‘Money & Fame’ which features an unforgettable brassy chorus that’ll really get you moving.

Whether you’ve been with NEEDTOBREATHE from the beginning or you’re a fledgling fan, there can be no better feel-good album than H A R D L O V E – because that’s exactly what it does. With such a collection of upbeat tunes, it’s hard not to be hooked on the band’s message of hope and powering on – so stick it on and give it a listen to turn those down days around!

H A R D L O V E is out now on Atlantic Records.

Angharad Bishop

Angharad Bishop

Angharad Bishop

Shamelessly stalking musicians.