It’s full-on San Francisco springtime, and this week SFCritic has been listening to some totally weather-worthy EPs out of the UK. Sip something, sun yourself, and check out the goods.
Building Pictures – Joey and the Moon EP
John Gribbin, a 23 year old from Northern Ireland, is the one man behind the band, Building Pictures. Joey and the Moon is his second EP release, though he has been writing in the UK and Brooklyn for other artists, while doing gigs for various bands. There are no surprises on the EP, just good songwriting and subtle touches that make each song distinct from the rest. It’s full of the kind of songwriting and earnestness, barely scuzzy-sounding guitars, and slacker vocals that make an artist destined for shoe-gaze stardom. “I’m Serious” has harmonies and a catchy chorus, while “Building a Picture” (calm down, Gribbin) is the kind of coming-of-age ballad most people ruin. Nothing is ruined on Joey and the Moon–doing just enough to stand out from the pack of male singer-songwriters and not much more. It won’t inspire raves, but boy is it likable.
Sounds Like: Jamie T’s less street-wise little brother. (Note: Check out Jamie T.)
Listen To: I’m Serious, On Our Own
Bare Threads – Wasted Nights EP
Bare Threads is a Bristol-based, bluesy rock band. Their latest release (March 29th) Wasted Nights EP was released on their own label Beats Harder recordings. The vocals, provided by the lovely Joanna Bennett, are totally lounge-worthy and supported by the richness of a stand-up bass and a trumpet. The one aspect lacking on the recording is the recording itself. The songs come off a little muddled and far away. On some tracks, like on the more electric “Under Your Shoulder,” it’s as if Bennett’s sultry voice is floating through a smokey jazz club or across the lawn at an outdoor concert. The whole EP could benefit from higher production standards. Wasted Nights is an expression of Bare Threads’ DIY ethos, acting as the kick-off for a Bare Threads-created ongoing collaborative art and music project. The artwork brief for the EP is available here.
Sounds Like: Letters to Cleo for the jazz inclined.
Listen To: Wasted Night, Under My Shoulder