Having heard only a fraction of Anthony Mehed’s creative work before, this new EP entitled 7th Heaven was an absolute joy to delve into – an unexpectedly creative, expressive and unique collection that’s very easy to get lost within.
Opening song Ain’t No Changes is the perfect place to begin. Fusing a crisp and gritty beat with an addictive acoustic guitar riff and a few layers of musical soul – the vocal fragments, the piano part – Mehed pours his passion and story-telling into the process with a fine balance between melody and rap; always meeting the needs of the moment and floating through in line with the mood of the music. A brilliant track and the best possible way to kick off the project. The genre fusion and the freedom is superb.
Setting the bar high from the offset could always be a risk, in this case though the 7th Heaven EP continues to impress and engage the listener throughout. Fired Up follows the opener with more of that unique style and originality. Suave riffs and entrancing rhythms meet with plenty of artistic space and another clever balancing between rap and melody. In this case, the song’s hook has a brilliantly memorable energy about it – easily recognizable and offering a sense of slightly tribal togetherness; something that was also hinted at in the opening track. There are so many sections and moments to each song that your attention is held from start to finish – a rare and endlessly impressive trait.
No Drama mellows things out a little, leading with a simple groove and a hit of sax, plus more of those seductive melodies. The bounce and vibrancy that follows is easy to love, complete with a nostalgic quality that’s designed to get you moving and feeling good. The production and the performance dance in unison as the track pours through – a mighty testament to the artist’s skill and passion from both angles.
My Way afterwards picks up the pace and tips its hat to the manic flows of the nineties, even with something of a colourful, Fatboy Slim-style beat. The music on this entire EP is an easy pleasure to have fill the room, it seems to balance the organic and electronic worlds in a finely selective and captivating way. Contrast is utilised wonderfully, quiet causing volume to hit with impact, stillness doing the same to speed.
Stay With Me stands out somewhat as it leads with its concept and its personal outpouring. Being a love song, you feel that longing and that desperation and desire from the offset. A simple soundscape builds slowly, and meanwhile Mehed offers up his unrelenting truth in a genuine and vulnerable way; it’s a moment to connect, and it shines brightly among the multi-layered vitality found elsewhere on the EP.
At the penultimate moment, Never Be The Same Again continues this depth of lyricism and sees Mehed inject immense levels of intimate openness and emotion into the collection. The song has a certain calmness about it, intertwined with a notable level of darkness and a questioning aura that tackles the role of the individual and the doubts and desires that are often at war with one another.
The unmistakable sound of On My Own brings the EP to a memorable finish. Dramatic piano work paves the way for a consistently expressive and detailed soundscape that showcases the fullness of Mehed’s musical approach. It’s a song that grows more enjoyable with each new listen, and one that wraps up this particular EP in a flawless fashion. An unquestionable collection of great grooves and hits that hold close to the artist’s inner dialogue. Easily worth a few replays this year.