For fans of Frank Turner, Saint Raymond and City and Colour, we bring you Marc Halls. Better known as the frontman of Hey Vanity, Marc recently self-released his second EP, Born Into Light, after the success of his debut solo lead to tours with Inme’s Dave McPherson and playing the acoustic stage of Slamdunk. This seven track offering boast two live recordings, and opener of the record can be downloaded below.
Open Ended Stories (below) begins the EP rather simplistically, a basic song structure holds an unchallenged narration, all delivered in a rather Like Sital-Singh manner. Whilst the song is undeniably pleasant and well executed, it lacks much to set it apart in a genre that’s becoming increasingly popular. It’s not as though Marc lacks the ability, as the rest of the EP will highlight, but it’s that this track doesn’t showcase that.
Edging towards percussion guitar, Marc opens Next Time with little explanation, but the romantic fondness declares this as the token love song of the record. A heart-on-the-sleeve reflection, this track blends open, accessible lines with a chance for Marc to add the deserved power into the vocals, before folk-infused Lullabys takes a turn for the melodic. Nautical metaphors and a few forced lines lead into a tight and well-written middle eight, winding the track up neatly.
It isn’t until Armoured Cloak that Marc’s vocal and lyrical capacity is filled; layers embelish the chorus, but the pace that accompanies the second verse is what leaves this standing out. Despite this, the song remains almost unfinished, before longest and last of the studio recordings, Connor’s Song takes hold. Written about the passing of a friend, the frank and honest lyrics mark this as a the most touching off the EP, with a close so moving it’d undoubtedly take a live crowd to tears.
The EP closes with two live recordings, Follower and Air Supply. This pair change the tone of the release, and would feel more suitable as B Sides on an album than as an apt EP finale. Stripped back and more honest for it, these tracks takes away the depth of their predecessors, enhancing the sincerity but drawing attention to a few wavering notes.
To say this is a release full of surplus material from other projects, there’s an unavoidable sensation that it’s been padded out; at seven songs, there’s no need for this. In these seven, though, there are a few really striking moments, that do manage to set Marc apart from the constant onslaught of acoustic singer/songwriters, and it’d be wrong to ignore the talent contained in them.