Words: Aaron Connelley
US based artist, Lyonn, released his debut E.P last month available for download from BandCamp. This acoustic debut is a rather safe collection of tracks, modelled on classic – perhaps even cheesy – song structures. However this does not take away from the quality of the songs presented. The cover of the E.P is beautiful and stylish, showing the artist’s styles nicely.
The opening track, entitled Dancing Machine, is very energetic and immediately draws the listener into the tracks, making the song easy to sink into and relax with. The acoustic mood is quaint and a nice, secure way to open the E.P. Excuse me if I use the word ‘nice’ many, many times, but in all of my review notes, nice is the recurring word. This entire E.P is just ‘nice’ in almost every way! Overall, this track is formed on what I consider to be the ‘typical’ form for songs of this type, making a bit easy to predict what I’m about to hear next. The chorus of the song impressed me the most of both this song, and the entire E.P, as it uses the full range of the singer and the instrumental backing (with a use of a string section which avoids the risk of sounding cheesy, especially on an acoustic recording) is an ideal arrangement. Before the first chorus, there was a slight pause which made the impact of the chorus that little bit better for me. However, that pause kept coming back and became a bit silly towards the end of the song, but that’s not a huge issue here as it does not cover the niceness of the chorus.
The second track, Midnight Mind, provides a similar sound but is at the same time slightly different to the first song, providing that little bit of variation while keeping the signature ‘Lyonn’ acoustic sound from the first song. The introduction of harmonies in this song is spot on and makes up for the use of strings which I sometimes wasn’t so keen on in this track. Admittedly, I didn’t mind the repetition of the word ‘lady’ at first, but after a while it became rather annoying. Which made the third song, Just Say Hello, quite annoying from the off, since this time it was decided that constant repetition of the word ‘la’ was a good idea. I think that if there was a different song between these two songs I wouldn’t mind at all so I won’t criticise the repetition on this song based on the previous song’s use of repetition. However, I can see this track alone becoming annoying too. This track again offers yet more variation, providing the listener with guitar sounds that are more inclined to jazz roots while keeping the folk genre firmly in place. The final chorus drags a little bit and the use of a pause before it made me a little bit impatient as it gave the wrong impression about the ending of the track.
The final song, Sing You to Sleep, is very soothing as the title suggests – the guitar intro in itself was almost enough to help me drift off. This makes it very different to the first song and makes it the very best song to close this E.P. The folk and acoustic genres remain in this song too, keeping to the general theme. Another point I’d like to mention about the E.P is that the songs flow together nicely, so you can easily sink into the album and let it play while you’re working or cooking or… whatever you may be doing.
Overall, this is a very nice debut E.P which works well. The tracks flow nicely into one another and allow the listener to become engrossed in the music, yet it provides the listener with enough variation between each track to keep each track fresh in their mind (despite sometimes allowing some songs to drag on). Anyone who is a fan of Ed Sheeran or Frank Turner should give this E.P a listen. I hope now that Lyonn can continue to work at this standard (or better!).