Music, and perhaps pop music, in particular, has the ability to bring warmth, joy and happiness into the world in a way that few other things are able to. When done properly, a 3-minute blast of upbeat music and optimistic sentiments can be the perfect rallying call, sugar-rush and an act of escapism all wrapped up in one small but perfectly formed package. Alive is certainly all of those things and more.

Alive is the sound of Gavin Murphy looking for sliver-linings and finding more than he bargained for. The last 18 months have been hard for everyone, including musicians and creatives who have had their careers put on hold due to live venues, rehearsal rooms and even studios locking their doors for the duration.

But what better way to come roaring back than with a statement of life-affirming optimism and a sigh of relief all put to a chiming and charming pop tune. It is easy to hear the influences of the likes of Crowded House, David Gray and Roddy Frame running through the song but why not, if you are going to find inspiration look to the best.

And, by way of balance, the song is joined by The Sound of Heartbreak, a more groove-driven indie piece about those rites of passage that we all have to go through. The message found across the two songs? I guess it is something like, celebrate the good times when you can because life is always going to put more than a few emotional obstacles in your way.

Both great songs, opposites which are both attractive and a reminder that pop music, when done this well is an unstoppable force, I mean, the best a full-blown pandemic could do was to put it on hold for a bit.

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