Badly Drawn Boy

James Dey – Spring EP

Following on from his superb debut album 'The Night Time', Leeds based James Dey is back with the first of four new EP's. All centered around the four seasons, Dey begins, unsurprisingly with spring.

They say timing is everything in music. So, how apt that, last week, Dey released his 'Spring EP' as spring sprung. Dey has tapped into the most beatific moments of Badly Drawn Boy's career on 'Ebb and Flow' and the instant classic 'Faintly But Surely'. The former, eloquently portraying the gentle awakening of life and the breeding of hope. A week on from watching a million people march on Westminster, it couldn't feel more appropriate.

Meanwhile, 'Faintly But Surely', delivers Spring's message of hope with a directness that's undeniable. As Dey infectiously sings 'change is coming', it's hard to not to get lost in the mire of current affairs. Nevertheless, his ability to keep everything light, allows a brightness to grasp your attention more than anything else.

On the EP closer 'The First Swifts', Dey taps into the vocal prowess of Simon Fowler in his Merymouth days and the work of Ian Matthews in Plainsong. There is an earnest and everyday reality filtering through the feather light folk music. Never resting on his melodic laurels, Dey has channelled Turin Breaks with a delightfully awkward and catchy riff.

Dey tempers the hope that Spring brings with the almost downtrodden drudgery of everyday life in 'The 7:42am'. The monotony of a commute, familiar to millions, can be lifted by the spring weather, but alas, we all feel we're missing out going off to make someone else money. The way in which Dey captures the essence of watching the world go by on the train brings Noah & The Whale's brief but illustrious career to mind.

When Badly Drawn Boy's debut 'Hour of the Bewilderbeast', it rightly changed the music landscape we lived in. Evocative, emotive and challenging, it reimagined what alternative pop music could be. James Dey's 'Spring EP' is a great homage to that legacy. In true Spring fashion, has us eager for Dey's future releases.

*Image courtesy of Mike Turner