Under Review

Under Review: Hope in the Darkness of the Sea, Alleyway Saints

Tatiana Zhandarmova

Imagine: it’s a Friday afternoon and you find yourself in your miraculously empty home. This is it. This is your opportunity. The chance to dance in the kitchen, all alone, is right in front of you. However, the excitement is overwhelming, and so you’re left with a blank brain and no music to jam to.

Well, oh boy, do I have the solution for you. Composed in BC during the midst of the pandemic and the isolation it’s brought upon us, Alleyway Saints’ 2021 album Hope in the Darkness of the Sea is a perfect pop-punk album to let your feelings out to. It’s also the band’s final album, 9 years after their first release, Side A. Lead singer Patrick Farrugia told fans on Alleyway Saint’s twitter: “This is the first time an Alleyway Saints release has been made from top to bottom on my own, making it the most personal album I’ve put out.” and the truth of that statement shines through the music. Its lyrics tackle topics like isolation, depression, self-doubt, as well as the healing process involved. My personal favourite and the second song of the album, “The Counsel of Bray” starts off with energetic vocals chanting “Caught in a cluster of doubt / I sought rebirth, and found it within myself,”. It clearly introduces the upbeat sounds and prominent themes of the album. Also, it’s just a fun song in general! The upbeat songs are easy to listen and sing along to, especially since the lyrics in each song are so catchy. Alleyway Saints definitely ended this project on a high note. 

Each of the songs in this LP also show an incredible contrast between their sound and words. It offers you liveliness, while still presenting dark and emotional lyrics. It’s an exceptional use of irony in music, especially when done well like in Hope in The Darkness of the Sea. The album is filled with distorted and open guitar rhythms, mixed with catchy drum beats and poetic choruses. 

With all that said, it’s no surprise that the songs can get stuck in your head after just one listen. So, if you by chance have a Friday afternoon open (or any afternoon, for that matter) this band is definitely worth checking out. — Tatiana Zhandarmova