Everyone's a sucker for a pretty indie album set to the sound of orchestra. That's exactly what Dia Frampton's new album is for. On top of all the pretty instrumentals, she sings with her truest emotions to make the album's messages all the more great. Dia Frampton lays out her heart in the cinematic Bruises, her sophomore LP.
You get a sense of the cinematic presence of this record very quickly, opening song 'Hope' featuring a bright and atmospheric orchestra backed by synths that all lie beneath Frampton's heavenly vocals. It feels like something you'd see at the start of a nature film, the camera zooming over forests and mountains, above seas and cities in conjunction with the dynamics of the strings and horns, Frampton's chanting giving the rays of sunlight falling over the land life. 'Out Of The Dark' follows the opening track, bringing great anthemic vibes to the record. The guitar reverberates above the pounding kick drum and Frampton's sweet vocals. The chorus explodes with energy, a thousand harmonies coming together to top the swift drums and sweeping orchestras.
All of Bruises is just genuinely pretty. It's all in the way the orchestras move in such beautiful and dynamic ways, accentuating all of the more fragile moments on the album. The way the strings and echoing pianos interact in 'Gold and Silver' give the track a mysterious and innocent vibe, and help make the atmosphere pretty and reserved. The same goes for 'Lights,' the piano moving more dramatically than the former track, but the slowness and sweetness of the track paired with its build giving room for the strings to add more to the record.
The end of the record seems to sound a bit more serious than the rest of it, but by no means does that make it any worse; in fact, it's perhaps the most tightly knit part of the record. Starting with 'Blind,' the dark and generally more moody sound paired with the driving beat and beautiful melodies gives the song a really ethereal and uplifting sound. The strings accentuate the sadder vibe in phenomenal fashion, allowing for the track to bring you down and lift you back up constantly.
The drama continues in 'Chances' and 'White Dress' before bringing things back to a sweeter side in the piano ballad 'Die Wild.' The end of the album really feels like it's saying goodbye to life. 'Blind' is the motivation to keep moving forward a bit longer, while 'Chances' and 'White Dress' are about the experiences of life. 'Die Wild' is sort of a will, in a way. Frampton claims she doesn't care if she dies sober or with the person who brought her sadness once he left - she just wants to die wild, or, in other words, leave in such a way that she'll be remembered.
There really isn't much of a dull moment of this record. The only low point is 'Crave,' simply brought down by its repetitive lyrics and lack of interesting sounds. The rest of the record easily makes up for its uninteresting moments with the movement of its instrumentals. The songs aren't as moving as others, but it doesn't mean they aren't an enjoyable listen. You feel like you're cuddled up in a blanket in front of a fire reminiscing about your happy moments for a lot of this album.
There's a lot of heart and soul in Bruises. Dia Frampton really laid her heart out in every track, bringing together both her happiest moments and motivation for the dark times ahead. There's prettiness all over this record, but furthermore, there's hope. With all of these memories she can continue to strive towards the future. Hold onto what keeps you going, and when you go, make sure you die wild so the world will remember.
Favorite Tracks: Out Of The Dark, Die Wild, Blind, Hope
Least Favorite Track: Crave
Rating: 79 / 100
Buy or listen to Bruises here: