Ten Tonnes – Dancing, Alone

A fun dose of nostalgia-fuelled songwriting...

Ten Tonnes’ (born Ethan Barnett) second studio album ‘Dancing, Alone’ is a nostalgic look at guitar music, while bringing back anthemic sounds and thoughtful, melancholic lyrics that could give bands like The Vaccines a run for their money. 

It’s been four years since Ten Tonnes’ debut self-titled album and he has already proven himself to be somewhat of a pro when it comes to anthemic, indie floorfillers – especially with single, ‘Lucy’. He did release a high-octance EP ‘So Long’ in 2021 which indicated where this album would lead to; majorly songs about heartache and hedonistic weekends.

Since then, Ten Tonnes has become an independent artist (previously signed with Warner Bros.) and has had plenty of time for self-reflection, which we see plenty of throughout the LP.

Opener, and previous single, ‘Monday Morning’ certainly has The Cure ‘Friday I’m in Love’ vibes. It has that sing-along, every so slightly cheesy feeling. It is also very memorable with its introspective reflections about “mistakes” which are “stacking up”. There is a desperation and rawness to the lyrics. Written in 2020, these are words from a singer-songwriter who seems to have been feeling lost and overwhelmed.

‘Heart To Break’ is breezy, while ‘Waiting For The Sun’ is contemplative, as he sings about loneliness – in his words, being “tired of being tired” and “tired of pushing on”.  Meanwhile ‘Drowning In The Deep End’ makes no effort to conceal how Ten Tonnes / Barnett really feels as he opens up about struggling make plans for the future and feeling tearful. 

The title track maintains the eighties nostalgia. This time with the introduction of synths and impassioned vocals as he sings, “My heart, it bleeds /  Onto the concrete”. The heartbreak drips from this track and is inescapable, even. It doesn’t threaten to become a Capaldi-esque tearjerker, however, and is the sort of track we are so excited to see performed live as it will, no doubt, become a beast of its own when performed live. ‘Dancing, Alone’ is one the strongest tracks on the album, for sure.

Another previous single, ‘Lone Star’ shows a different side to Ten Tonnes. It’s a progression for the artist, who was inspired by songs from the 1950s and 1960s, bringing a more simple and classic form of songwriting into the modern era to be appreciated by all.

As mentioned, some of the songs are a little cheesy in both their production and – to an extent- the lyrical content, but never overtly so and we embrace this because the tracks are so relatable. Ten Tonnes is so open and honest about his feelings and shares his emotions with his listeners and you really can’t help but feel for him. You’ll be bopping your head along to the songs before you even realise you are doing so. His words will stay with you, too. These are tracks that can be played on a Friday night or on a sombre Sunday (when the Sunday scaries are kicking in) and Ten Tonnes’ versatility and growth are to be applauded.


Words: Narzra Ahmed

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