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Single Review: Better Days by Castells


Better Days

Release: November 22, 2023

Review by Aaron Oppheim

This year has seen a subtle yet incredibly powerful narrative shift for Castells. To fully appreciate their brand new single Better Days, allow me to take you back in time.

It's July of 2023, and where Castells' previous releases have been largely focused on individual stories, they now turn their attention to the bigger picture with the newly released single Can't Wait For Us. People in power seem to once again have forgotten who they're supposed to represent and the rest of us are shouting our throats raw to be heard. Can't Speak For Us spares no expense with its boisterous instrumental and lyrics bordering on unforgiving toward its opponent. The message is crystal clear: enough is enough.


In my three years of being an avid listener of the band, they've never shone quite as brightly as they do on Can't Speak For Us. Marc's raucous drums, Rob's charged guitar and Matt's core-shaking basslines effortlessly elevate each other into a sort of otherworldly commotion before Connor's vocals joins in, embodying animosity while still holding its usual gentle nature in a clash of forces that simply works like a charm. We don't want to fight, but if that's what it takes, then that's what we'll bloody well do.

Better Days finds the four-piece in a middle ground between the same biting social commentary and the humane compassion that runs as a common thread throughout their discography. It tells the stories of four Brits, all fighting to stay afloat in various stages of life. Isla's barely scraping by, working a job she's deeply unhappy in and saving every penny for a new start while Danny's battling heartbreak and addiction. Carrie has separated from her long-term partner and can finally start working toward the life that now has a possibility to grow in her newfound freedom.

Though split into different narratives, there's always a sense of togetherness in Castells' songwriting. From looking at the stars, wishing on burning rocks lightyears away no matter where you are to collectively holding the weight of the world on our shoulders, screaming out for better days – Castells refuse to let anyone walk alone in their hardships. It's this core value that now incorporates a newfound edge to their lyricism, because not only do they hold space for people too easily forgotten by those in power, they're raising their voices and their art in an effort to talk back, creating a space for us to be louder together.

At the end of the day, should you be among the people using their hearts and voices for the good, you'll always find a home in Castells.

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