We review the latest EP from Andrew Cushin – You Don’t Belong

f you haven’t yet heard of Andrew Cushin already, the chances are you soon will do. With support slots already booked in for the likes of The Sherlocks and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, the latter of whom he collaborated with on single ‘Where’s My Family?’ Not to mention having also signed a deal with Pete Doherty’s Strap Original label. Not bad for a 22 year old lad from Newcastle.

If that all sounds a lot, that’s because it is, but spend just 15 minutes with Cushin’s new EP (mainly because that’s all it takes to listen to it), and you’ll understanding exactly why there’s a buzz surrounding the young Geordie. Yet perhaps most importantly, you’ll understand why that buzz is getting louder.

Of course, it’s unsurprising that Cushin is already earning comparisons to fellow Geordie Sam Fender, but while those comparisons are fair, they also feel lazy. Whilst it’s true that Cushin might be another North Eastern “council estate kid” much like Fender, he harbours an air of musical understanding that belies his young years.

This is something that’s evident from the outset of You Don’t Belong. An eponymous opener kicks things off, allowing Cushin to display said understanding, appearing much older than his tender 22. It continues throughout the record too. ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ is a new, unreleased track that feels much more encompassing than anything you’d imagine Cushin’s Tyneside contemporaries writing.

By the time the previous single ‘Catch Me If You Can’ makes an appearance, it’s obvious that Cushin isn’t influenced by the usual litany of ’00s indie bands. Instead, it’s clear his musical tastes run much deeper than that. There are echoes of Paul Wellar, of The Beatles, The Kinks, and of course, Noel Gallagher.

Rather than ape his influences, however, Cushin has opted to learn from them, taking cues instead of borrowing directly. Never is this more clear than in the rousing EP highlight, and its final track, ‘Runaway’. Four minutes and 20 seconds of quietly lilting indie, the nods to Noel evident, but fans of Elbow will find a lot to love here too, a subtle guitar progression followed by understated piano, both back boning the track, neither overshadowing Cushin’s effortless vocal.

Indeed, that such a well-constructed release should come from a 22 year old is nothing short of impressive. There’s not a track out of place or that outstays its welcome. And in lesser hands a debut EP might run to five or even six tracks, Cushin has opted instead to leave his fans wanting more. At least we know it’s a safe bet they’ll get it.