The Singer/songwriter blends together sounds that sound like a Tracy Chapman, Nick Drake and David Gray super-group. It works on so many levels. The five tracks we’re offered are quite long for a solo artist but move seamlessly as you’re taken in by Shaw’s storytelling.
Hollywood Clichés, the opening track has elements of Nick Drake with tempo shifting acoustic picking and vibrant garage vocals. Shaw’s accent bleeds through and the tone and tempo shifts build up anticipation that only acoustic performances can. It doesn’t need to encompass your body but you’re ready for the story to change. It’s a long opener and you feel the genuine feeling in Lochlan’s voice. There’s a sense of emotive power in his vocals and the ability to play and shift both his vocal and guitar stylings is admirable and it works so well.
Father Chance picks up the pace and is more emo-based. Lochlan’s vocals rip through the acoustics but fall softly back onto the warm riffs. It’s a song that feels like it could come to a comfortable finish halfway through, but we’re treated to so much more musical exploration with folk styling coming into play. It’s a second half that would fit nicely on Pink Moon. It’s a much more somber finish and a song that feels in two well-contrasted halves.
She Will Always Have A Key To My Mind has heartwarming harmonisations between guitar notes and vocals in the intro. This leads us into an exploratory verse. Savour The Night is short and sweet and much more chord-heavy and upbeat. It has a pop twist mixed into the guitar patterns like John Mayer who has been a big influence on Shaw.
Suburban Pariah is an emotional closing tracks with slower playing from Shaw in places but as the tempo picks up the familiar picking style comes into play. From one track alone, you can get the feeling and style of Shaw’s music and the soft folk style makes the lyrics feel all that more beautiful.
There’s a lot of craftsmanship and ability in Shaw’s playability and the confidence and emotion in his voice alone provide a strong backdrop for modern folk rock. It’s not a short EP so you’re in for a treat and there hasn’t been guitar tempo shifts like this in a long time.