Nick Byrne-Nick Byrne
Record Label: Self Released
Release Date: February 14, 2011
Nick Byrne is a folk singer from High Wycombe, England, and this self titled EP is his first release. It’s a short, but sweet introduction to a very British brand of folk that brings to mind the work of Frank Turner. It runs at just over ten minutes and features only three tracks, so there’s not too much to get your teeth into, but it clearly displays the sound that he’s going for.
The EP starts off with opening track “Calling”. It’s a fairly typical fare of folk, but the most striking aspect is how strong Byrne’s voice is, with his vocals sounding extremely comfortable and at ease, through not only “Calling”, but throughout the EP. He also has a great tone, with no faux- American accent, but with very English vocals. The lyrical themes appear to be a crossover between politics and relationships. It’s an attractive track, with the lovely touch of subtle female vocals, halfway through.
Next up is “Crows”, which keeps to the sound of the opener, with the strong acoustic sound continuing. Lyrically, it seems to once again meld the personal and politics. The lyrics are extremely smooth and work perfectly.
The EP closes with”Message For The Few”, a more overtly political track. It starts with the acoustic sound, but suddenly towards the end, turns into an almost heavy full band track. Honestly, when I first listened to the track, I had to check that a different album had somehow turned on, as it is a complete departure from the other eight minutes on the EP, and not in a good way. It might be a somewhat brave attempt at something different, but generally, when you’re listening to a folk album, you’re not really looking for a guitar solo and breakdowns.
On whole, the release is a good sign of things to come. For most of the EP, Nick Byrne has made an attractive, if somewhat predictable, release that has well crafted lyrics and lasting power. Hopefully, in the near future, Byrne will release a full length album, minus the random heavy rock moment. Nick Bryne is definitely one to watch.