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SINGLE REVIEW: Up Against It by Black Honey

Rockstar darlings Black Honey are back with another scintillating slice from their upcoming third album A Fistful of Peaches. Fuzzed-out Up Against It is an open letter to frontwoman Izzy's younger self, where she pleads herself to "give yourself a break, kid."

Black Honey by Jamie Noise

A lot has happened since the band's indie-rock spaghetti western dream Written & Directed back in 2021 - an album that was birthed pre-covid. The album clawed its way to number 7 on the UK Album Charts, which is a massive fucking feat for an independent rock band. Their huge success was followed by supporting The Vaccines on tour, releasing a self-made documentary, immense UK and European tours, storming the festive circuits, and sold-out headline London shows at Colours and OMEARA.

A Fistful of Peaches will be the band's response to the pandemic and the isolation, anger, and self-reflection that came with it. The album arrives on Friday March 17th.

Singer/guitarist and songwriter Izzy Bee Phillips explains the uniqueness of the new album: "If the vibe of Written & Directed was creating this whole Tarantino world and this safe space of me almost refusing help and saying I was fine, then with this album it’s the opposite. Lockdown had happened, I’d had two years of not writing anything and feeling like my entire purpose had gone down the drain, I’d been in intense therapy which was exhausting, and what came out was just me regurgitating things from my entire life and building my brain cells back to how they should be."

Warming off your January blues is latest single Up Against It, which begs you to heal your inner child and be easy on yourself in tough times. Izzy comments, "This song is an open letter to my younger self. And to every young discriminated and marginalised person out there. I want so bad to give them an anthem that was instead of “fuck the world” would give them a screaming discovery of new found kindness towards themselves."

Izzy's soaring vocals are teamed with distortion-laden guitar, signature Honey strums, and a 90's grunge-meets-britpop influence. A Black Honey first features in this track - the debut of a spoken word speech from Izzy, earnestly addressing herself and everyone listening who has struggled with their mental health.

"Troubled young people give themselves the hardest time of all. I want to tell them that you are hurting and things are harder than you ever thought they could be, but all you have to do is show up for yourself every day," the singer adds. "Things aren’t always going to go to plan but I know that future you is fucking proud of who you are now. And you will look back on yourself with huge admiration. Give yourself a break kid, you were up against it.”

Black Honey 3.0 was born with fist-fighting Charlie Bronson last summer - a gnarly takes-no-shits anthem. Indie-hazed Out Of My Mind yearns for escapism from dissociation. Grunge-pop Heavy was accompanied by a music video starring and directed by Drag Race UK icon Dakota Schiffer, who commented, "For my directorial debut it was crucial to me that Heavy centred around the themes of trans femininity."

(Side note: When are we going to get Izzy as a guest judge on Drag Race UK? Just IMAGINE a lip-sync battle to I Like The Way You Die.)

A Fistful of Peaches has already seen a sold-out Blood Records exclusive edition fly off the shelves within a few hours. Wax lovers can still grab a Rough Trade exclusive edition with an alternate cover, along with a peachy picture disc, and a truckload of goodies from the official BH store (including signed copies of the record, and all the cute merch you could ever dream of). Or if streaming is more your thing, pre-save the album here.

To support the upcoming album, Black Honey are heading out a 15-date tour, culminating in a final stop at the newly revamped KOKO.

Catch Black Honey on tour:

24/03/23 | Bedford - Esquires 25/03/23 | Norwich - Arts Centre

26/03/23 | Birmingham - O2 Academy2

28/03/23 | Exeter - Cavern

29/03/23 | Bristol - Thekla

31/03/23 | Brighton - CHALK

01/04/23 | Nottingham - Rescue Rooms

02/04/23 | Sheffield - Foundry

04/04/23 | Manchester - Gorilla

05/04/23 | Newcastle - University

06/04/23 | Glasgow - Classic Grand

08/04/23 | Liverpool - District

09/04/23 | Stoke - Sugarmill

11/04/23 | Southend - Chinnerys

12/04/23 | London – KOKO

Tickets are on sale now.

Stream Up Against It on Spotify and Apple Music.

Pre-save A Fistful of Peaches here.

Review by Chloe Robbins

Photography by Jamie Noise

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