Anthem – Monica Uhm (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Sometimes it feels as if the unseen hands of the Gods of Music do indeed guide us along certain paths. Anthem is one of a collection of songs which first saw the light of day 20 years ago as part of a demo CD and until the recent pandemic stepped in and put a halt to proceedings, it was one of that collection of songs being re-recorded to celebrate them having reached the two decade mark. Although this, the title track, was never intended to be released as a single three factors changed that initial plan. Firstly it was one of the few songs that was actually finished and fit for public consumption. Secondly it seem to have become increasingly relevant of late. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s a cracking song!

Anthem is a reflective look at life, the idea that when the time inevitably comes you can look back and say, is the world a better place for my having passed through it? Despite all the struggles and setbacks you may have encountered, were you able to spread the love, the joy, the happiness? Something that we all hope to be able to truly answer in the affirmative.

And for such a poignant and powerful song, it is a gentle beast. Essentially a folk-infused pop song, one built on deft and delicate sonics which are dressed up just enough with spacious bass and beat, and some chiming peripheral guitar work, all of which allows the lyrics and the sentiment to take centre stage.

Gorgeous, reflective and restrained. Heartfelt and relevant. An anthem for our times indeed.

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