Emerging with the weight and heart of a full band, Thomas Priest’s emotional and fully rock-infused sound and style throughout this new EP is superb – melodic, powerful, honest and insightful. There’s a certain poignancy to his vocal delivery that connects the lyrics and the rising intensity of the music to the listener and their own life, and that’s a mighty thing; and made clear with purely the opening, title-track that is Wake Up Call.
From a stylistic perspective, this is the rock and punk-pop sound of the nineties reignited. However, things take a turn for the far more creative and original as the music progress. The opener alone offers numerous moments of free-flowing, unexpected artistry, instances of electronic rock and metal alike. At the same time, what a story, what a voice, and what a hook. This is an easy anthem for disheartened music fans in 2019 and beyond, and fortunately the EP continues to embrace us in a similar fashion.
Safe Tonight follows the opener and immediately settles the mood. A piano-led aura, spacious and intimate, guides you through this unwaveringly honest and inviting series of thoughts, which seem to be directly addressing the listener; it’s a song for you, whoever you are. Lindsay Mac’s vocal feature adds a welcomed dynamic and sees the song venture off into an Americana or soft rock realm that works really well.
Punk-pop strikes again for the fast-paced, thoughtful and brilliantly addictive Distant Memory. Lovely riff work, simple yet effective, and a short-form verse melody that’s equally easy to remember – a little Summer Of 69-like initially, but you soon forget the rhythmic familiarity. As always, Thomas Priest has crafted a vibrant and immersive experience, which quickly becomes a thing of its own.
Ignorance takes on the electronic ambiance a little more notably, leaning towards the tones of modern hip hop and RnB. A delicate soundscape and a near-whispered delivery of deeply personal reflections and observations. And once again, a stunning build-up, great use of structure, and a hook melody and moment that resolves in a beautifully satisfying manner. Another absolute anthem.
Things come to a close with the perfectly placed acoustic strum of What Do We Do. A gentle, breathy and warming closing moment, soaked in sadness but calling out for answers and resolve – something the song itself artistically works up towards.
Celebrating all manner of aspects from gratitude to relationships to overcoming or learning from mistakes, this EP in full showcases a talented and versatile artist and songwriter, as well as offers a playlist that’s beautifully heartfelt, eclectic, and deeply human. A genuine pleasure to let play at volume.