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GEORGE LAWSON - LACUNA NIGHTS

WE REVIEW THE NEW EP FROM GEORGE LAWSON – LACUNA NIGHTS

Now December has officially arrived and Mariah Carey has started assaulting our ears, it really makes you ask yourself, where has this year gone? Not to worry, because Manchester-based George Lawson saves the day with his excellent debut EP, ‘Lacuna Nights’.

It features five tracks that show enough variation, but just enough cohesion to present a well-rounded release that would sound right at home on a daytime radio show, an accompaniment to an evening drink amongst friends, or a festival field in the middle of summer.

Me&U

Following a wind-up sound moving into the introduction, ‘Me&U’ is a strong start to this EP. As soon as the vocals kick in you will be made aware that this release is going to be one catchy piece from start to finish. This is also a good time to mention that the synths used in this song, as well as the rest of the EP, feature an almost lo-fi quality to them. This presents warmth and is a key component that brings the five tracks together.

The song features a really nice progression, all culminating in a chorus that has two distinct halves, the second being a fantastic ensemble of the different instruments, featuring more percussion alongside the more erratic drums, some slick backing vocals, and a unity between instruments that straddles the line between no wasted space and not being too overbearing.

End of a Gun

Next up is ‘End of a Gun’ which already has a moderately different feel. If you come away from this EP remembering any of these songs, it’ll be this one.

The instruments here are a little more stripped back in comparison to the first track, putting more of an emphasis on the insanely catchy chorus hook. It features a fantastic beat that expertly carries the momentum throughout the song, instantly making it more dance-friendly and energetic.

The vocals here also have a great sense of rhythm, the middle eight being a great example of this. Especially in the increased pace of the metre in the second half, where the delivery is clear and concise. Despite this, the expletive used here sounds a little bit forced and sticks out as an odd addition to this section, as it breaks the flow a little bit. Other than that, this is another solid track.

Stop Signs

‘Stop Signs’ is my favourite track on the EP. It features a more laid-back introduction, accompanied by a bass line that acts as a clever counter-melody to the vocals. This song is the best showcase of everything this EP has brought to the table. Its ‘lo-fi’ style synths embrace that style even more here, and the vocal harmonies are at their absolute best, particularly in the second pre-chorus.

The vocal delivery here is a lot smoother, whilst still feeling confident in its ability to switch the style up. There is a certain restraint shown to the vocal melody here that fits the song so well, proving that being a good vocalist doesn’t always require singing at the very top of your range.

The attention to detail in this song has to be applauded, with its more funk bias coming from the bass, its more loose vocal style, and its overall ambience really making it the standout track for me.

MISYA

Though this is definitely not a bad song by any stretch, ‘MISYA’ is my least favourite track on the EP. However, it must be said that the palm-muted clean guitar lick is an excellent motif that repeats throughout the track.

Even though the song is less than four minutes in length, it still somehow sounds like it goes on a little too long. I think this is because the elements featured in the different sections here do not provide enough variety to make their individual parts differentiate themselves.

One of the main components that echo this sentiment is the chorus melody. It does not show enough variety and spends a little bit too much time at the high end of George’s vocal range, the odd word even showing a little bit of strain.

I feel that the rest of the songs in this EP do a much better job of playing to the strengths of this artist than what is presented here.

LittleMoreTime

Last but certainly not least is a track that caps off the EP in a more sombre way. ‘LittleMoreTime’ features a detuned acoustic that fills out the introduction and beyond, acting more as a bass component.

This track is the one that stands out as being the most diverse track in this EP’s overall sound. It shows more of George’s vulnerability evidenced by his vocal performance, particularly in the chorus section.

Something I’d love to hear further down the line is a more stripped-back acoustic version of this song. The way the acoustic guitar is presented here brings with it so much soul, particularly when listening to the subject matter behind the lyrics, paired with an alternation to the melody that incorporates lower notes. Something for a future deluxe album perhaps?

This is still an excellent way to finish the EP, I’m certainly not taking anything away from what George has achieved here.

As a debut EP this is a great listen. It is very easy to see why George Lawson is being picked up by multiple big Spotify playlists, as well as BBC Introducing and many more. Even the parts of the EP I didn’t enjoy are still nit-picky in the grand scheme of things. This is something that this artist should be proud of. Bravo.

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