By Josh Schonfeld
Only one month after his sister, Grace Sewell, reached the pinnacle of the Australian music charts with “You Don’t Own Me,” Conrad Sewell ascended to the top with his melodramatic requiem of an ending relationship, “Start Again.” This piano-driven ballad starts off soft, as his voice pounds the shore of your heart as he repeats syllables as if they were waves. He laments of the past errors he made with his love, letting them add up until he swings into the powerful chorus with the line, “And then you told me that you loved me. But you’re sorry, you needed something better, better.”
Sewell takes a page out of Ellie Goulding’s playbook by using a similar structure as “Love Me Like You Do.” After a short pause following the verse, there is a building, lifting chorus that reminds us that there is always hope in any situation. The Gospel choir behind him serves as a proper backdrop for salvation and rebirth as Sewell vows to get his life back on track following the storm.
Sewell pumps life into his vocals once he gets to the bridge, putting his shortcomings behind him as he belts out, “So I guess I’m gonna let you go, but you get to keep a little bit of my soul.” As quickly as it came in, his energy dies and he returns to his lamentation before giving out one last gasp of life as the choir coos in the background.
Will Sewell be able to cross the Pacific and make a name for himself in the States? The jury’s still out on that, especially since it looks as though the record label has chosen to go with the lesser track, “Hold Me Up” as his first solo US single to follow the lukewarm performance of his project with Kygo, “Firestone.” What is clear however is the amount of potential Sewell has as an artist, with his soulful tone and emotive lyrics. Also, the idea of a possible duet with sister, Grace, should excite anyone who has heard these two songs now.