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Following last year's release of These Six Strings, local well-known face about town, Josh Lobley is about to release his second five-song EP on 22nd February. 'Chapters' was recorded and engineered at Moose's Music Hole and is a natural progression from the previous EP. The overall sound is bigger, fatter and tighter. Solid bass and drums are welcome additions to the arrangements, as is the inclusion of more electric guitar and some keyboards.
1 - Chapters 2 - Awake Or Dreaming 3 - Still Wish You Were Here 4 - Day To Day 5 - What I Miss
Opening with the EP title track, 'Chapter' begins with acoustic guitar, then the voice, then, on cue, the band are in. A memorable chorus will ensure that dance floor singers will join in and bounce about with all abandon.
The second song is the aggressively tempo'd 'Awake or Dreaming'. Solidly performed rhythm section provides a bed of angst for Josh's indie-rock vocal style. Secondary voices help to emphasise in appropriate sections. "I lay at night, looking at the ceiling" is something we can all relate to. As with other of Josh's lyrics; give an insight into the emotional side of our existences; "Am I awake or am I dreaming?"
Finger-picked acoustic guitar opens 'Still Wish You Were Here', (which immediately reminded me of a Paul McCartney song), tells of the loss of a near and dear, again something we can all relate to. Adding strings to the arrangement gives a hint of George Martin influence and yet at one point, almost certainly Crowded House make an appearance.
'Day to Day' is more similar to songs on These Six Strings and backing is more simplistic with acoustic guitars providing all. I am reminded of the song 'New England' by Billy Bragg, not for it's content, but for "relaxed" vocals.
'What I Miss', the final track is a great up-tempo song and for me, is the best track of the five. Here; the production and arrangment has been augmented by some nice synth work which definitely helps define the elements and lifts the song above the average. Interesting vocal harmonies also add colour and definition, encouraging to sing along with easy-to-follow lyric and melody.
This song tells its story in a way that Josh's vocal style handles easily, which has been excellently mixed and blended with the accompaniment for maximum impact.
Each of these songs has their own story to tell.
Enjoyable listening. A good second EP.
Enjoy the journey