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Album Review : New Years Day – Half Black Heart

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Review by Lydia Evans for MPM

New Years Day released their fifth studio album, Half Black Heart, on 1st March 2024. This album brings the reunion of all original members of the band: frontwoman Ash Costello, lead guitarist Nikki Misery, guitarist Jeremy Valentyne, bassist Brandon Wolfe and drummer Trixx.

Ash Costello spoke about all original members being back for this album, “…we tapped into the original sound that initially defined New Years Day. It allowed it to evolve into an authentic representation of who we are today!” She also spoke of the new album, “The album ‘Half Black Heart’ holds a deep significance
for us.

While it’s common for musicians to express affection for their albums, this one truly stands out to me. It feels like the culmination of all the hard work and growth we’ve experienced while creating our previous albums coming together.

We’ve taken everything we’ve learned from those songs and poured it into this record.” The album is described by Ash as representing “… the duality that has always been a part of us – half red, half black;
half heavy, half poppy; half dark, half fun, half metal and half rock.”

The enthusiasm for this album makes listening to it even more exciting. The album opens with Vampyre, a song about someone sucking the life out of you emotionally.

It’s a heavy track with thick, distorted guitars and thundering drums. Title track Half Black Heart has a
funky riff and shows off Ash’s vocal range and ability to switch from clean notes to screaming vocals.

Hurts Like Hell has guitars that dance around each other – heavy rhythm with warped lead, and an anthemic chorus.

This album features lots of anthemic, powerful choruses. Secrets is a powerful song with themes of how secrets can destroy you.

This song is one of Ash’s favourites off the new album; she spoke of the song by saying, “…’What is truly disturbing me right now?’.

The answer that echoed in my mind was simple yet profound: secrets. We’ve all experienced that unsettling sensation when we sense that someone close to us is concealing something…this song serves as a realization that enough is enough.”

Fearless is a stand-out track from a listener’s perspective; the pop beats give the song a different depth. It sounds a little electronic and futuristic – that “half heavy, half poppy” sound Ash described.

This track and Bullet Proof both have low-key verses that show off the vocals before exploding into high-powered choruses.

Burn It All Down has a spooky feel and another track with dance beats backing up hard rock instrumentals. It’s a personal favourite of mine. Enemy has a thick guitar riff and thunderous bass, while I Still Believe has impressive drums and emotional vocals.

Unbreak My Heart has an early 2000s metal vibe, with skilled screams of “broken”. So Sick and Creature of
Habit are two of the catchiest songs, getting stuck in my head after listening.

The album is fun to listen to, and New Years Day has their distinctive sound down. You can hear the emotion and passion in this music, and hopefully listeners will enjoy it as much as it seems like the band enjoyed making it.

The band spent time in 2023 performing in the US with bands such as Halestorm and Ice
Nine Kills. They plan to return to perform in the UK in 2024

Half Black Heart’ tracklisting

1) Vampyre
2) Half Black Heart
3) Hurts Like Hell
4) Secrets
5) Fearless
6) Bulletproof
7) Burn It All Down
8) Enemy
9) I Still Believe
10) Unbreak My Heart
11) So Sick
12) Creature Of Habit

New Years Day’s new album “Half Black Heart” is available now to stream/buy: https://newyearsday.lnk.to/HalfBlackH.

NEW YEARS DAY is:

Ash Costello – Vocals
Nikki Misery – Lead Guitar
Jeremy Valentyne – Guitar
Brandon Wolfe – Bass
Trixx – Drums

Find NEW YEARS DAY Online:

https://nydrock.com/

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