Joe Summers - Joe Summers

by Dan Clay Rating:7 Release Date:2010-07-05

At just 17 minutes, Joe Summers' mini-album barely makes an entrance to outstay any welcome, but it's certainly one you'd invite back for another listen. The Walsall-born songwriter crafted these six tracks over years but recorded them in just one evening and the consistently folksy tone of the tunes highlights a confident young musician.

With a nod to Bob Dylan and Fionn Regan, but sounding a lot more like Marcus Mumford (minus his sons), Summers' distinctive voice sounds mellow as he regales us with tales of love, childhood and growing up. Opener 'London' starts things off in a melancholy mood; a sort of odd ode to the capital. "If I make it out alive, I'll rebuild my skin and bone," Summers sings as the tale of a cold time spent in the city is played out over a simple acoustic plucking, finishing with the plea to "take me home."

'Keep Your Posters' - the best of the six - focuses on a yearning to remain young at heart. "I guess it's time to grow up", we're told as Summers implores the young not to let such memorable time pass over a soft strum. 'New Rave Scene' sees him rant against current musical trends, picking out the NME for particular angst - "It don't mean a whole lot to me." So firmly does he set his stall out, it's surprising it wasn't selected to start the album on a more confident tone.

His more romantic side emerges on the final three tracks with 'Laura', a love song sung across the waters to a girl who he hopes to see again, while 'Monte Carlo' sees him in more predictable ode territory with a story of sunnier climes. Things round off well on 'Last of its Kind', another country-tinged tale of youthful love complete with a soft sounding slide guitar.

Promising? Yes. Predictable? A little, but there's something warmly comforting about such tales. The sort of hard working musician playing acoustic pub stages all over the country, Summers deserves a wider audience.

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