EP review: Lewis Watson – Four More Songs

Lewis Watson - Four More Songs

Lewis Watson - Four More Songs - Credit: Archant

Another hyped, MOR guitar-pop boy dops onto the pile, but this one actually has (some) talent. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

His star already in the ascendency (he plays Koko in November), Watson’s first three EPs all broke the top 10 of the iTunes chart.

His easy-going summery strumming and ear for a pop melody have served him well so far, and this fourth EP finds him adding a couple more elements for a bigger, more intricate sound.

Lead track Calling has an undeniably infectious chorus and pretty, burbling piano accoutrements, set to lyrics about dropping everything and living for the moment, but framed in pleasingly grounded terms, hanging out near bus stops and “getting good vibes from a cider can”.

This four-song taster hangs out in the same sun-baked car park as Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard, less polished than the former, less earnest than the latter but with an endearing pop heart.

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Both Close and Songs That We Wrote When We Were Drunk bolster the promise of a soft yet solid, tuneful debut that will earn its place in the charts.

But his lacklustre cover of Guillemots’ brilliant Made Up Love Song #43 reveals his limits.

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A brave move at best, Watson strips the song of the layers that helped bring about the original’s majesty, depth and beauty, and plumps for a funereal pace that sucks out the breathless urgency.

It’s an imagination-free treatment, and considering there’s only acoustic guitar, drum and some fleeting glockenspiel aiding Watson’s competent vocal treatment, it’s still surprisingly OK in isolation.

3 stars

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