On January 7th, British singer & songwriter Ella Henderson released her newest single, “Brave.” “Brave” is an anthem about staying strong for the people in your life you care most about. In the context of the music video (which you can check out below), this person is a child, but Henderson purposefully navigates the waters of the song to avoid mentioning exactly what kind of relationship this is about. This keeps it as ambiguous as it needs to be in order to reach a broad audience, and the song works better for it.
Sonically, “Brave” takes direction from modern pop anthems to create something that gives hope to those who need it. The song centers around a piano, and the beat is minimalist to allow the lyrics to be the primary focus of the listener. The melodies are infectious for two main reasons: one, of course, is to make the song itself memorable, but two is to keep the message of the lyrics inside a listener’s head long after the song is over.
On the subject of the lyrics, “Brave” is written as strongly as it needs to be. The aforementioned purposeful ambiguity works to Henderson’s advantage, and the way she wrote this to be both ambiguous and meaningful is incredible. It manages to be specific and universal at the same time, which is hard to do.
The only qualm I have with the song is actually with its video, but I truly appreciate how in the description, Henderson and her team have included information about Mind, the U.K.’s primary mental health charity. Given the depictions in the video, this is necessary information to include, and I appreciate that attention to detail.
Overall, Ella Henderson’s “Brave” is a strong pop ballad about remaining brave in the face of adversity for those around you who may need it. It’s expertly crafted and expertly handled, and it’s absolutely worth your time. Check out the video below, and be sure to let us know what you think!