27 Sep 2021

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Evan Rhys - EP Review: Flickering Stars

08 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Evan Rhys first came to public attention when he was front man for Somersault, and after working on other people’s material and also with Maori Television, he is now back with an EP of four of his own songs. Recorded with Sam Johnson at Rhythm Ace Studios with drummer Ben Payne and bassist Nate Betteridge, this is a release where the music is brutally honest, and the singer wears his heart on his sleeve. The four songs are quite different from each other, but all infused with passion, and a desire which causes the voice to crack at times and go offkey, but the listener is taken along for the ride.

The opening title track starts sedately, with gentle chords and rim shots, but the vocals finally break through, the instruments come alive, and a delicate repeated keyboard motif adds additional brightness and life. In many ways this is reminiscent of the Nineties guitar-based indie scene which gave birth to Oasis and would undoubtedly be appreciated by those who have been wishing for the return of the fighting Mancs. But one of the interesting things about this EP is that there is incredible diversity within the four songs, so while they all have their roots in that Indie/Alternative feel, they are all very different from each other, although they all have Evan’s vocals at the very heart of everything they are doing. Truly Free is old school soul, but soul that has not been sanitised and produced within an inch of its life but left raw and vital. Skyline finds Evan move more into pop, with female backing vocals and synthetic-sounding drumming, combined with his vocals and an acoustic guitar. Personally, I would have liked this to have had a different treatment, as if this had been left as a purely solo piece with just an acoustic, I am sure it would have come across with even more impact. The EP ends with Wonder, where this time piano provides the main musical support, but one of the most important aspect of this particular piece is the use of space and the way the music flows.

Four very different songs, all brought together by the vocals of Evan, and the sheer passion he brings to everything he does.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Evan Rhys

Born and raised in Taranaki, the former front man for old skool Waikato band, Somersault is returning to the airwaves with his new solo material. Evan Rhys has used his passion for music to help elevate the lives of those around him. He recorded and released an album of prisoners’ songs entitled, If These Walls Could Speak. He then went to work with Awa Productions on the critically acclaimed Maori Television series, Songs From The Inside. Meanwhile Evan’s own songs continued to take shape in the background and have slowly bubbled to the surface.

His EP Flickering Stars was released in February 2021 and features an eclectic mix of pop songs that are at once nostalgic and new in the same breath. There is life lived in these songs and beyond everything, resonating hope that permeates through this EP.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Evan Rhys


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