It’s a little late due to a number of issues outside of my control, but welcome to the first edition of my tracks of the week. Every week I’ll will choose three tracks that have impressed me for various reasons and let you listen to them in all their musical glory.
Stevie Mac – Fast And Slow
One half of Belfast disco-pop duo Uber Glitterati, Stevie is in the process of releasing his first solo EP in nearly four years. Recorded by Master and Dog’s Walter D’Goon and set for release on Christmas Eve, This Cleansing Fire is a pleasant surprise: genuinely well-crafted tracks that show a softer side to the multi-instrumentalist. It’s his voice that most impresses, however. Striking the perfect balance between gravelly and bittersweet, it commands attention no matter what’s going on in the background, with shades of Neil Young and even Noel Gallagher creeping in. The overall sentiment that you come away with is that this is a record that has been lovingly put together, with real care and thought. The little touches stand out on each song: the effected drums and the bluesy guitar riff on the title track, the haunting middle 8 of Horse of Troy and the charming (and almost spiritual) organ part in the featured track Fast and Slow embellish each track and make this EP one you can really engage with. Excellent stuff.
Dave Dixon – Candles Burning Time
A hat tip to my co-host Sorcha for this discovery. Coming from stunning début EP from this singer songwriter from London, Candles Burning Time is one hell of an introduction to Dave Dixon. There’s a real myriad of influences on show here, culminating in a folktronica sound reminiscent of Tuung and Sondre Lerche at times. For a bedroom EP it sounds pretty fantastic: confident in his voice and perfectly content on layering up part after part Dixon has created something a record that contains a healthy dose of experimentation but remains relatively radio-friendly . Utilising samples and slightly distorted acoustic guitar, instrumental track Freshwater provides for an ethereal soundscape that’s almost as bleak as the front cover of the record, while the addition of a female voice on Circle Forms provides for a beautiful contrast between Dixon’s drawling style and a sweet serenade. It’s a “pay what you want” EP, and in my eyes it’s certainly worth a few quid.
Jules O’Brien – Love Affair
It’s not a new track, but it’s a gorgeous one nonetheless. Laura Marling and Gillian Welch fans will lap this one up: a bittersweet track with a gently lilting style and a lovely little cello part creating a fragile beauty, a self assured voice and the occasional wry lyric. The idea of a forbidden love affair may not be the most original concept for a song the world has had but O’Brien’s talent makes this a joy to behold.