Thursday, August 29, 2013

Loving ... "Lantern EP" by Stylusboy

For all the progressive music that I consume on a daily basis, I still come back to acoustic-guitar led singer/songwriter style folky music. The music brings me back to reality & gives me the words I need when I am in need of words.

Folk like Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash are obvious starting points ... but there are others that I turn to: Brooke Fraser, Iron & Wine, or even the awesome Simon & Garfunkel ... lately, though, I've turned to Stylusboy as well.

Now I've spoken about Stylusboy before & I happily call out I am a fan of their sound ... I say ’their’ because Stylusboy is not just Steve Jones’ baby anymore ... Rachel Grisedale, with her sumptuous vocal harmonies, is an integral part of the band.

Now Grisedale’s vocals really do make the band ... but she has to have something or someone to harmonise with and Jones’ voice is the perfect counterpoint. There is humanity in his voice that I just adore. They work well together ... complementing each other nicely.

In addition, Jones’ guitar work is wonderful. It is vibrant and enticing ... it fits so well with the rest of the band: Tim Bowes on Drums … John Parker on Double bass … and Polly Paulusma on Guitars, keys, mandolin and glockenspiel. Theirs is a joyful noise that draws you in before you are captured by the vocals. All in ... Stylusboy makes music that I really appreciate.

"The Lantern EP" is Stylusboy's latest release. It features two studio tracks & two live tracks.

The first of the live tracks - "Latern" - is a joyous affair ... an upbeat guitar, piano & mandolin-lead celebration of life with a really infectious sing-a-long chorus and a fab backbeat.

"... the light is burning for you!"

There is so much hope contained within this song ... it's hard not to be moved by it.

The next track - "love’s tale" - is wonderfully atmospheric ... a delightful track filled with guitar, piano, glockenspiel and some seriously beguiling harmonies.

"This is the start of something beautiful ... of something new."

Wow ... those lyrical rapscallions had me at "it's time ..."

"Love's tale" is an utterly beautiful track that is worth the price of the EP. If I ever renew my vows to Olly, I'm playing this song afterwards!

The third track - "Open" - was recorded at ’Hot Numbers’ and demonstrates, quite effectively, how good Stylusboy are as a band. An upbeat guitar and vocals number that really places emphasis on their musicality.

The fourth track - "Jigsaw" - was also recorded at ’Hot Numbers’. It has a delightful sway about it ... a sense of movement and presence that I find comforting. This is complemented by the heartfelt vocals to make something beautiful indeed.

The whole EP is a delight from start to finish. I would heartily recommend this release ... especially if you are like me and are looking for something different from what you normally listen to ... that is unless acoustic-guitar led singer/songwriter style folky music is your norm ... and let's face it Stylusboy make a compelling argument for it.


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