STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 161958-24014 LABEL: Plankton FORMAT: CD EP ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
According to the accompanying press release, Swanage-based singer/songwriter Matt JR Hurley only started writing songs three years ago so, with that in mind, his debut EP is an impressive achievement. The blurb also states that Hurley has gone through some trying situations in recent years and this is certainly reflected in the general lamenting nature of the five songs. Thankfully Hurley skilfully balances the undeniably downbeat feel of the EP with the certainty and steadfastness of God's love no matter the situation with tracks like "The Promise Of Redemption And Hope" and "My Soul Sings" being cases in point. Hurley's intricate finger-picking and gentle vocal delivery fit the bill perfectly and, whilst he and producer Gareth Matthews keep things pretty basic in terms of instrumentation, the fuller band feel of the psalm-like "Shout To The Sky" and a synth wash on the previously released single "Pebbles" help add some variety to a promising debut.
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