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Everlasting Bonfire - EP Review: EB EP

02 Oct 2023 // A review by IShadowcasterI

Carl Watkins looks to continue his musical journey post Daisy Chain Halo with a new sound that still provides the same passion and intensity as his previous project. The result is Everlasting Bonfire, and in this instance, the debut EP simply titled EB EP.

The first track BYG Opens the track listing to a very bare acoustic guitar, and raw vocal that gives a very personal, vulnerable sit-down with Carl. He is soon followed by an arrangement of Sebastian Lowe (Violin), Adam Maha (Viola) and Jeremy Mayall (Piano) that help the song develop and grow. The songs beautiful instrumentation, along with the delivery of Carl's words create a wonderful open to the track listings.

As we move from the gentle flow of the opening, we enter a more tense lands of Nobody Knows. This time, Carl would be joined by Aaron Gott (Piano & Keys), Yotam Levy (Cello), and Clara Lange (Violin). The songs initial inception was while Carl was on the side of Mount Karioi with a friend. In the song notes, he also mentions being thankful to have Clara on the recording, saying "I am so glad I have at least this little part of her on record. She is very much missed."  The song feels more cold in overall tone of the music but helps place us in the tale being told by Carl's lyrics. It keeps the same mellow vibe going, while adding interest with the chords used.

Track 3 would see the biggest musical accompaniment yet, as Carl would be joined on the track Stay by Colin Ogle (Clarinet & Saxophone), Macaila Eve (Violin and Backing Vocals), Matty Thomas Taylor (Keys), Jacob Blair Tait (Bass), Trevor Faville (Drums), and Tess Campbell (Backing Vocals). This large collective creates a great grand feeling when the build hits its peak, and a fake out end into a nice outro make this song a fun one to listen to. This personally was my favourite track while listening repeatedly.

During the days of Daisy Chain Halo, misheard conversation about a guitar effect pedal called a Tremulous Bear would spark the title for our final track A Tremendous Bear. Matching in musical power to our last track, Carl is joined by Matty Thomas Taylor (Piano), Aaron Gott (Keys/Organ), Clara Lange (Violin), Yotam Levy (Cello & Viola), Ying Te Liu (Clarinet), and Trevor Faville (Percussion). The melody is nice, and the song is floaty and builds to another exciting section, before the song drops and leaves us on a sombre note.

Carl Watkins has written some truly beautiful songs within this EP. While I would like to have seen something within the track listing that was more energetic, all 4 songs featured on this EP show that Carl not only hasn't missed a beat, but that we should be looking forward to seeing what he has in store next.

This EP is available exclusively on Bandcamp, and can be found HERE.

 

About Everlasting Bonfire

Everlasting Bonfire enters on the singing and songwriting of mainstay Carl Watkins. It is a progression from Watkins’ previous band Daisy Chain Halo, a powerful and popular live act, from the end of 2005. While the sound has evolved away from the crashing dynamics of the ‘Halo and into a more acoustic sensibility, it still retains the same level of vicissitudinous passion and intensity.

Everlasting Bonfire has played live regularly as a solo acoustic show, as a trio featuring Matty Thomas Taylor on bass and keys, and Trevor Faville on drums and percussion, all the way up to a fuller ensemble with woodwind brass and strings. A notable live performance was captured live at the Gallagher Performing arts center in Hamilton, New Zealand . This is currently being developed into a live DVD.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Everlasting Bonfire

Releases

EB EP
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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