16 April 2017

Johnny Lloyd - Eden EP

Johnny Lloyd is not a name I am familiar with, and to be honest I wasn't familiar with his previous band Tribes either.  So, why am I reviewing this EP from Xtra Mile Recordings?  Well, the cover just seemed sort of interesting upon the PR release that landed in my mailbox, and sometimes it comes down to something as simple as that.   ‘Eden' was produced by Hugo White of the Maccabees, and Mike Crossey of The 1975 over a period of six months, and follows up on the 'Dreamland' EP which was released last year.  According to the press release, 'Dreamland' did very well, with tracks being played on 6Music, Radio X & Radio 2, as well as performing well in the iTunes charts.  But that sort of thing does not really get my attention, what gets my attention is the music, and it’s time to find out if it’s any good.

01 – Running Wild

Similar to Richard Ashcroft, Joseph Arthur and other solo male artists, this indie rock track creates a picture of a person who is free from the cares of the world in one way, but will ultimately end up in the same boat as the rest of us.  It is a positive number to be honest, musically it’s a little bit run of the mill, but I have heard a lot worse.  Also, Johnny Lloyd has a really good voice, one that draws you in, so that even on a track which is OK its automatically improved just by his presence.

02 – Kanaval

This song reminds me so much of 'Electric Feel' by MGMT that I had to check it wasn't the same song. It has some striking similarities, but also fortunately a lot of differences.  That aside, it’s a pleasant song that feels like sunshine coming through the window, even if the subject is about a love which has gone south.  Once again, I am captivated by those vocals, they just exude presence and stature which is rare these days.

03 – Traffic

Traffic’ is such a good song and I am not saying that to blow smoke up Mr Lloyd’s arse, it has everything you might want from an indie rock number.  It has desire, need, love, a loud guitar, drama within the music, and it is all held together by those vocals.  Traffic is the best song of the EP for my money, definitely one that deserves to be played as often as possible.

04 – Eden

The final song of the EP is the title track, an acoustic driven song about a loved one who is not there anymore and appears in dreams now.  It is haunting, well-crafted and beautiful, I am not going to lie and say it is the most original piece I have ever heard though.  This sort of song has been made many times over, but this is a great example of how to do it right.

Not gonna lie, this is impressive just for the man’s vocals alone.  It reminds me of the time I first heard Joseph Arthur, a unique voice that can make even songs which are sort of average shine like diamonds.  When the music matches the vocals, then we have a world beater in our presence.  Now, I cannot comment on his previous work, but I have a feeling that this is still a man who is trying to get his identity as a solo artist worked out, and that will take time. This EP is just one small step on a bigger journey for Johnny Lloyd, and it is going to be one hell of a ride to get there. This is a good place to start and things can only head upwards.

4 out of five - This is really good, well worth checking out

Top track – Traffic

You can purchase Eden on Amazon here.

You can follow the activities of Johnny Lloyd on Facebook here.

You can visit the Xtra Miles Recordings website here & order the EP from the online store.

You can stream Eden EP on Deezer here. 

You can stream Eden EP on Spotify here.

You can stream Eden EP on Tidal here.

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