Being asked to review a release before it is even unleashed on the public is always an honour for a blog as small as this one; let’s be honest here, we are not the biggest music review team and it is always a surprise that it is still going on in my mind. So when we get submissions, we do try our collective best to review them. This review is the debut release from Seth Elton’s Music, a project which is fronted by Seth Elton who is currently based in London. I love the way this man operates, knocking on doors and making a name for himself; any information about the music I have needed, he has answered straight away and is enthusiastic about his work. It reminds me of the way I saw Frank Turner & Jonah Matranga operate and I mean that as a compliment, but this is not reviewing the EP – so let us have a look at the music….
The title track “Mad Monk” starts the EP, immediately you have a man who is searching his heart and questioning love and some of the rights of passage that we all must face at times. Musically it is somewhere between Frank Turner, Lindisfarne and Nick Mulvey, with a catchy strumming that warms the listener to the song straight away. It has a jolly tone to the music, which is counteracted by the tone of the lyrics which has a tint of sadness and longing, wishing that there was somewhere to belong. This turns out to be the Norfolk Broads, a place I am yet to visit but I would love to see. This song is a great piece to introduce the EP to the world, a catchy number to grab your attention from the very beginning. “Oak Road” has a life of its own, it carries itself with a serious tone after the innocence of “Mad Monk”. They are horns mixed into the song, lifting the song up with a dream-pop sequence that reminds me of Mercury Rev. It is a song that exceeded my expectations from the opening few bars, where I was sure I would be listening to another song that reminded me of Frank Turner – well played sir, well played. The penultimate song of this EP is called “Stage Time” which showcases an individual take on the folk song, it feels as if it has been crafted in the street and alleyways of a city and has never known grass or a meadow. It is a metropolitan song, with shadows attached to the song in ways that sometimes is missed out of folk music. It is song about standing up for one’s self and not letting someone off too easily when they think they are better than other people. Once more, I am impressed by the maturity on show here and the song can be thought of as a living creature at this point. Ending the EP is “The Way We Are”, which is a gentle song, wishing for the loneliness to not be a permeant fixture of the singer’s world. It is the weakest song of the EP, but it is still a good song as well. It starts off slow, but builds towards the middle peak is well crafted and it still shows a maturity and high level of song writing that I was not expecting in some ways.
I have to say this has been a very pleasant surprise to have dropped into my mail box; it is a very mature release and showcasing a musician who really could make waves in this market. You can hear other band’s & artists in the music, but you can also hear an individual touch that takes these songs up a level and that is always needed to make an artist stand out of the crowd. It does not have a weak bone to it, even the weakest track is as strong as anything (and in some cases stronger) I have heard on other mainstream records. The EP is out in June, once it is out I will update all links below; but what an EP! To Seth Elton, I salute you sir and keep up the hard work; to everyone who is reading this, purchase it once it is released!
Top track – Stage Time
4.5 out of five – This is really good, well worth checking out
You can preview the Mad Monk EP on Soundcloud here
You can follow the activities of Seth Elton's Music on Facebook here
Obviously, at the time of writing this is not available to purchase or stream; once this has changed I will update the review.
Here is the video for Mad Monk: