EAVES – What Green Feels Like
aaamusic | On 09, Jul 2015
Joe Lyons aka Eaves already sounds as if he has had a lifetime of songwriting experience, but this 23-year-old from Leeds only produced his debut EP, What Green Feels Like back in autumn.
Lyons openly takes influence from the prog-psychedelic episode of British rock history and combines this with a folk-style ambience and the rare ability to create independently moving melodies. His vocal lines float above his guitar driven accompaniments and transport his poetic stories of personal hope, love and alcoholism.
Firstly, ‘Pylons’ is rippling in a ‘folk-rock-English-heritage’ soundscape with haunting harmonic progressions, charming vocal lines and a fine balance of finger-picking style and heavier powerful episodes. From the outset, this demonstrates a unique song craft, enticing the listener into his mindset and musical language, stamped with the classic male singer-songwriter identity that is so popular currently, but with an intensified maturity, forcing you to follow the albums path. With this in mind, each track certainly offers something different.
‘Spin’ begins with a cliché traditional song style, rustic in tone and narrative based. A rich cacophony of instrumental bliss fills the mix with mellow brass pads and warming bass with enough rhythmic activity to feel in touch with the tracks driving accompaniment. No sooner as this alternative atmosphere is established, Lyons welcomes another change to a darker setting with manipulated vocals and rumbling percussive forces. The folk flavour is not forgotten with the interplay of Fairport Convention style acoustic and electric guitar interjections but you are quickly transported back to the 21st century with his synth-style vocal effects combined with a typical alternative rock drone.
A lovely addition to the album is the piano fuelled ‘Timber‘, simple in nature but perfectly formed with vocal and accompaniment coherent and thoughtful in terms of registers.
With the mix of arrangements you can hear ghostly folk elements similar to the world of Fleet Foxes and the therapeutic voice in line with the rustic tone of Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol. The pop and rock episodes hark to the indie-alternative sound of Cherry Ghost. By this I mean his songs exude a certain modesty whilst clearly possessing an involved and sophisticated musical vision.
As the EP heads towards a close it is as if he embodies Nick Drake with his guitar playing in ‘Alone In My Mind‘ but his own presence is maintained by the angelic backing vocals and his melodies remain identified from the previous tracks.
With all these artistic references scattering each track ever so lightly you should quickly be able to tell whether What Green Feels Like is the EP for you but I certainly feel that Joe Lyons should be recognised as a talent at the forefront of British singer-songwriting.