Reviews

Chaz Hearne & Alex Gilewicz
The One Year EP

Chaz Hearne, Music Reviews, Music Blog, Music Magazine, Unsigned,

The One Year EP is a wonderfully polished sounding collection of folk songs. The song writing is an effective fusion of classic folk story telling, and emotional, personal, singer-songwriter expression. The overall sound has been produced to a superbly high quality, so everything about the music makes it feel like an instant, acoustically driven classic.

Spell is the first track on this EP. The opening notes have a certain softness about them, but it feels quite big – it gives off the impression of importance, almost like a gentle siren; as if what follows is something you really need to listen to. It also has the feeling of the dawning of day, which is a wonderful atmosphere to create, particularly with folk music. The acoustic guitar that follows is gorgeous, and finally, the smoothly confident yet relaxed vocals – finishing off that recipe for beautiful acoustic music brilliantly.

The lead vocal brings up memories of the days of Big Jet Plane – that Angus and Julia Stone sound really echoes out with this song – it’s something new, but it has that warmth, and those glorious harmonies, plus the addition of a soothing string section to really bring everything out into the spotlight. A beautifully tender song, and a great way to open up the project and introduce you to the music and the song writing of these artists.

The songs that follow fit in perfectly with the vibe set by the opener, so you feel comfortable letting the music play out, you trust the songs to do their very best, and that’s exactly what they do. The music gets into your mind and relaxes you, filling your head with beautiful imagery and reflective thoughts and ideas. Enter Autumn introduces the male and female vocals with a beautifully paired and expressive set of melodies and harmonies. The music is very optimistic sounding, loaded with positivity – it’s uplifting, and could soothe even the weariest of hearts with it’s pleasant ambiance and stories of life and the changing of the seasons.

Winterthoughts is a possible personal highlight, it has something about it that really strikes a chord – the lyrics are interesting, poetic, and the musical riffs used create a strange combination of melancholy and hope. You see, I’ll always count on you – the idea is repeated, and really gets you thinking. The vocals are almost whispered in this one as well, so the overall vibe given off is really something very different to a lot of other folk songs around at the moment. The whole track builds a world of sound and reflection that draws you right in. it’s beautifully unique, and that’s a wonderful quality.

Go Back has something of an acoustic rock sound to it. It builds up quite swiftly from the start, has the effect of lifting you from your seat in a way, making you feel involved in the urgency of the music – the quickness of the strumming pattern has quite a manic sound to it, and this contrasts really cleverly with the mellow and drawn out notes of the vocal. The cello adds yet another dimension to this effect, particularly when the music breaks away and leaves you with only the strings.

There is no clear chorus section, nor any particularly expected structure in this song, which is fantastic, and the perfect moment within the EP to do this. It feels like a moment of power, something that had to happen, perhaps to remind you of the point of music and artistic expression. Expect the unexpected where possible, and respect it when it happens. A real strong point in the EP, adding a lot to the overall effect of the collection.

The One Year EP is six tracks long, so it has the benefit of being more of an experience than some shorter, say, four track EPs, but without even the slightest chance of getting tired of the music before you’ve heard it in it’s entirety – occasionally a full album of tracks can be difficult to delve into when it comes to an artist you’re not hugely familiar with.

Yes We Will continues with the comforting and pleasant vibe, but the style of vocal performance used in this one adds a sort of theatrical expression to the music – the story takes on a life of it’s own, and it sounds great, still loaded with those stunning harmonies, but feeling fresh and new in comparison to what has already passed.

Acoustic guitar, banjo, cello, saw, clarinet, flute – everything you openly love about folk music is written into this release, and performed with great skill and feeling. Not forgetting of course, the all important imagery, the stories of life, love, change, development. This is everything folk music was meant to be, but brand new, and beautifully emotive.

In Summer (All you Find) Is Green brings the project to a close, and the riffs, and the tone of the lead vocal; they fuse together superbly. There’s a noticeable stop and start trait to the lyrics and the melody in this one, and it’s followed by musical strength, which really just makes it feel epic. It makes you listen. It grabs and re-grabs and holds on tight to your attention. Just wonderful, an undeniably pleasant and thought provoking experience.

The EP is out now for you to take home. Stunning song writing and flawless acoustic folk performances from start to finish. Find and follow Chaz Hearne on Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud. Grab your copy of The One Year EP and check out previous releases over on Bandcamp. Head to Chaz Hearne’s Website to find out more about the music.

Rebecca CullenMusician & writer with an MA in Songwriting.