To start the money used to create this EP was as you can guess funded by a plan to go to Australia, I’ve never been but on the basis of this soulful, enjoyable record Michael’s decision to postpone his trip has not been ill advised.
The EP gets off the starting blocks with a tasty guitar infused tease of a track. ‘I Knew’ is a delightful two and a half minute track and despite its short length, the time is well spent and is a perfect example that quality always defeats quantity. With echoes of Bob Dylan, Michael’s husky voice delivers a slice of Americana that leaves the listener aching for more. Thankfully this is only the first track and we have a few more before the final curtain.
‘Counting on You’ is a much more soulful affair with brushed drums laying down a delicate beat that overlaps exquisitely with measured guitar and piano throughout. Michael has a unique voice with a wide range that allows a sweet and romantic song the majestic feel deserved. There are definite influences of Irish songstress Lisa Hannigan with special regards to the records production values.
With ‘Butterflies’ we get a toe tapping beat with a much more pronounced guitar, with are lovely elements of Springsteen sprinkled throughout, more Nebraska than Born to Run but it’s a nice contemporary to be linked with. A reassuring song that swings and moves with grace. ‘Say you Love Me’ continues in a similar vein, with a song that exhibits Michael’s ability to turn personal events into a mature and powerful song.
We finish with ‘Letting You Go’, a stripped down song that focuses on piano and Michael’s voice, we do hear a little guitar plucking away in the background but the real onus of the song is the voice. This song might just break your heart, the lyrics strike a little close to home but the overriding message is that while we fall, we ultimately get back up, it might take some time but we always rise.
What we have here is an eclectic mix of five songs from an unsigned musician from Belfast who has blown this listener away with versatility and a maturity with both lyrics and musical production. Well worth a listen, spread the word.
◀ STANDOUT ⁞ Letting You Go ▶
◀ SOUNDS LIKE ⁞ David Gray | Bruce Springsteen ▶