While Lewis may have made his name as something of a balladeer thanks to the success of 'Waves' and 'Be Alright', A Place We Knew demonstrates far greater breadth and depth to his songwriting. Case in point is horn-laden opener 'Hold Of Me', an uplifting, joyous antidote to some of the album’s sadder songs. “I started realising that when I played festivals I didn’t want to be writing all these down, sad songs,” he explains. “It’s a great way to start the album. And it’s super-simple storytelling: It’s me saying, ‘I know you’ve been hurt in the past, but don’t worry, you’ve got a hold of me, I’m on your side.’”
Despite its forlorn subject matter, the title track also finds Lewis in an ebullient mood musically, as does 'Stay Awake', its shuffling chorus and stabs of horns lending the song a celebratory feel. The climactic chorus of 'Straight Back Down', meanwhile, is tailor made for festivals. On an album that clearly hues close to the bone, Lewis pinpoints two songs that capture him at his rawest and most vulnerable: 'Don’t Hold Me' and 'Half A Man', both written during a period where he “didn’t feel great about life or what was going on”.
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