Katherine Priddy mentions that the second album is challenging compared to her critically acclaimed 2021 debut, The Eternal Rocks Beneath. However, there is little evidence of the struggles faced by the Birmingham-born singer-songwriter. Her voice remains exceptional and her song delivery is more poised, accompanied by a richer blend of instruments such as guitars (both picked and jangling), cello, violin, brass, and synth, all produced by Simon Weaver. The album may not be as striking as her previous one due to a lack of striking imagery found in earlier tracks like Wolf and Icarus.
The Pendulum Swing is a consistent and domestic work, with its title alluding to the desire to leave and change, and the opposing force to return to what is familiar. This theme is evident in tracks like First House on the Left, where Priddy reflects on a “boat made of old bricks and mortar”, as well as in family tributes such as Father of Two and Walnut Shell. Themes of arrival and departure are also explored in several love songs. Does She Hold You Like I Did may sound like a bitter country tune, but its heartfelt pain is expressed gently and eloquently. Similarly, Anyway, Always and Words of Mine are nuanced in their delivery. Overall, this is a complex and contemplative piece of work.