WORTH A LOOK?: ****
TRACKLIST: Emotions; What About Us; Ugly; Let’s Go Home Together; Brave; Out My Head; Thank You For The Hell; Sorry That I Miss You; Everything I Didn’t Say; Bad News; Cry On Me; Good Things Take Time; Northern Lights; Set In Stone; Body; Places
When we saw Henderson live in London in 2015 at the end of the tour promoting her Chapter One debut album boasting international hit Ghost we said that we expected her next album to be even more successful because she would have more life experience to draw on.
- Read on for reasons including where to see Ella on tour in May, June and October
We didn’t expect that it would take more than 7 years for sophomore album Everything I Didn’t Say to see the light of the day but perhaps that’s sometimes what happens when a TV talent show like X Factor catapults you to fame at 16 in 2012, you have international success yet choose to leave your label Syco.
Themes of this album include mental health struggles, splitting up with a narcissistic ex, letting loose and finding love, everything you could hope from a 26-year-old a decade on from their unexpectedly early big break.
The big hit from it you may know is the Tom Grennan duet Let’s Go Home Together, actually co-written with James Arthur, which is a cheeky meet-cute tale released to coincide with lockdown when the possibility of meeting someone in a pub and going home with them was off the table.
We saw Henderson live again in east London in 2019 and raved about album track now called Ugly which the singer herself describes as ‘about a huge turning point in my life, so I had to include it on the album. I was photographed in a bikini on the beach and it got used in the papers. At the time I felt so ashamed of myself for the way I looked. I’ve been on a journey of building self-worth since then. Now I’m in my mid-twenties I feel confident enough to share the message in this song.’
Recent single Brave, a 2022 song of the week for us, documents struggles with mental health but sugared with the pill of hope.
Elsewhere the big dance features that she has had regular hits with over the years are excluded meaning the focus is on a set of predominantly midtempo, melodic and country-infused songs expressed with honesty that may not have the immediate allure of Ghost but mean the emphasis is on authenticity and the artist’s own storytelling.
Out My Head chastises that narcissist ex, Sorry That I Miss You sees her venting yet realising how difficult she can be while Northern Lights reflects on the strength of that new relationship.
Henderson will be playing some of these tracks on a UK tour in October including a return to the 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire where we 1st saw her. She’s also supporting The Script on an arena tour in May and June including a stop at London’s 02.
It may have been a long time coming but Everything I Didn’t Say is definitely worth the wait and we can’t wait to see Henderson perform them live on that tour soon.