Joe Lewis

Branches EP

Written by: TL on 29/12/2012 18:56:25

I could be mistaken, but I have a feeling that one of the most common 'kinds' of music in the world, are songs written by guys with acoustic guitars, singing about people they love. In fact I'd wager it's second in prevalence only to songs written by guys with acoustic guitars, singing about people who loved them. That said, there's a reason folk and singer-songwriter is still mega-hip, and it is that quite a few of these acoustic-wielding dudes have managed to pen some pretty great songs (see: Ben Howard). The question in this review is whether this here "Branches EP" puts its author, Newport, South Wales resident Joe Lewis, among those few talented dudes that you're likely to hear about in the future.

Customary for the singer-songwriter style, the instrumentals here are minimalistic, with softly strummed acoustic guitar complimented subtly with classic support instruments like harmonica or shakers. Lewis sings with a light, bright voice, throwing in both falsetto and some gritty punk-rock style on various occasions, and for the most part, the tone of his songs is positive, expressing appreciation for things and people around him and he takes care to spice them up where he can, hosting some female guest vocals in "Uphill" for instance.

As you may have guessed from the moment I used the word 'common' however, I'm not exactly doing cartwheels over how awesome "Branches EP" is. Some songs, like "Second Home", "Goldmine" and especially "Get It Right", win on repeat listens, being well enough written to invoke recognition and some casual singing along, while others - "Glad You're Here" and "Uphill" - have moments that are a tad too shrill and grating for my liking. The small observations like that do not matter so much however, as the overall one of "Branches" being just okay rather than anything particularly exciting. If you're in a cranky mood, you wouldn't be entirely unjustified using words like banal or trivial about it. If you're in the mood for some chilled, relatable acoustic songs with a very light dash of punk-rock edge however, by all means, check this out.


Download: Get It Right, Goldmine, Second Home
For The Fans Of: City & Colour, Into It. Over It, Frank Turner,

Release Date 17.06.2012

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