Lonely the Brave
About Lonely the Brave
This radio-friendly U.K. alt-rock act have survived key lineup changes and placed a steady stream of melodic and anthemic material on albums and EPs released during the 2010s and beyond.
Lonely the Brave formed in Cambridge in 2009 when vocalist David Jakes, guitarist Mark Trotter, bassist Andrew Bushen, and drummer Gavin Edgeley all fell together after their respective bands either split or ended. With a love of groups such as Pearl Jam and the National forming their bond, the four-piece set about recording and touring straightaway. A self-released EP, Backroads, appeared in 2010 and a tour of the U.K. followed, seeing them receiving praise for their intense live performances. Building their following organically, the group soon started to earn plaudits from the likes of Kerrang! magazine and BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. In 2013, the band announced that they had signed to Hassle Records. A re-recorded version of Backroads was released in the October of that year after a summer of festival gigs, including a performance at the prestigious Reading Festival and support slots with the likes of the Deftones and Bruce Springsteen.
Entering the studio with Mark Williams at the end of 2013, Lonely the Brave set about recording their debut album, The Day's War. While recording as a four-piece, the group realized that playing the songs live would require an extra guitarist, and Ross Smithwick joined the band in early 2014. Just prior to this, guitarist Joel Mason was in place to fulfill this role, but he soon left to pursue various solo projects. With the album originally scheduled for a June release, it was pushed back after the group announced that they had signed an international deal with Columbia Records. After a three-month delay, The Day's War was released, entering the U.K Top 20 album chart while garnering positive reviews across the board. The band returned to the studio in 2015 with producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A.) to record their sophomore release, Things Will Matter. Preceded by the singles "Black Mire" and "What If You Fall In," the album appeared in early 2016.
The EP Diamond Days was issued in 2017, but it was to be the band's last with Jakes, who left Lonely the Brave in March of the following year, due to mental health issues. By the summer, he was replaced by Jack Bennett, who was equally adept at mixing and producing as he was at providing vocals. This helped the group's sound to develop more organically and independently. Steadily they reassembled before unveiling the bold single "Bound" in April 2020. Along with subsequent tracks "Distant Light" and "Open Door," the band provided the first impressions of their third album, Hope List. ~ Rich Wilson & James Wilkinson