Ade Birkby keeps things organic and genuine with this latest EP release. Both his songwriting and musical presentation lean in the direction of honesty and realness, presenting his truth and doing so in a subtly stylish manner.
You get a folk-rock or Americana feel from much of the project, though the sound is somewhat minimalist in general – you can hear that acoustic aura, you can visualize a live solo performance, and this builds further on that inherent authenticity and subsequent warmth that emerges as you make your way through the playlist.
Save Me me is all of the above and comes with a softly memorable melody and reflective, personal concept that’s easy to connect with. On My Knees follows and switches the rhythm slightly, a spacious guitar strum comes through, accompanied by short bursts of lyricism that lay out the scene and pave the way well for a song that gradually gathers momentum. Once more the mood is easy going, emotional and open from a writing perspective, but perhaps vague and accessible enough for an audience to make it their own. The religious aspect runs deep within these songs and so for those who want to feel a connection to something greater than themselves, this EP offers a modern and ultimately very heartfelt take on faith and dedication to a higher power.
Heaven Is Near leads with an even softer soundscape, a beautiful guitar part makes for a definite musical highlight. The melody rises higher for the hook and the fall away to that title line works brilliantly. There’s a vulnerability in the vocal performance here that pushes the honest feel even further.
More Than Anything introduces more delicacy with a quietly picked guitar line and an immediately intimate string of lyrics – directly addressing a significant other and declaring a sense of loneliness or struggle. Again, the personal touch works well to make things feel genuine, but that vagueness or lack of distinctive detail allows the listener to really take the songs in their own unique way. This track cleverly builds from melancholy to optimistic as the latter half brings rhythm and warmth that you quickly appreciate.
By the penultimate song on this project, Birkby’s sound and style as a songwriter has achieved a certain familiarity and identity that’s easy to recognise. You’re Here makes sense where it is, the song follows on well, but there’s also a certain smoothness and something fairly cool about the sound – the space between vocal moments, the notes, the melody, the lyrics; all of this adds something refreshing to the EP and makes for yet another highlight and a personal favourite. The sense of faith is also quite strong here and perhaps that plays a part in making it stand so tall.
I Want You To Know brings the EP to a close with a subtle full-band aura – a punk-pop rhythm and an enjoyable bit of character makes this a fairly uplifting way to end the project. The additional vocals during the hook help brighten this moment up and carry the song through with just enough layers to let it shine a little more brightly.
All of these songs clearly come from a place of genuine consideration and passion – you can hear this in the lyrics and indeed in Ade Birkby’s tone and performance style throughout. The organic vibe connects beautifully within the context of the writing, so the whole thing just works and is an easy joy to listen through. A live show would almost certainly offer the precise quality and depth that you hear throughout the recording.