Simple but complex – new acoustic EP from Calming River

Pared back and simple at the same time as being impressively complex and intricate, the music of Calming River walks a fine balance. Built around the foundation of some excellent finger picked acoustic guitar, his songs are infused with style and feeling from the get go – and that’s without even mentioning the relatable and very real lyrics.

New EP ‘The Ones We Left Behind’ shares many tropes with the work of Damien Rice – particularly a dark atmosphere which is rescued from becoming maudlin through sheer talent. Yes, the subject matter isn’t the happiest, but that doesn’t matter because all you can hear is the marriage of acoustic guitar and vocal. That pairing is a timeless one, passed down through the ages, and this EP is a timely reminder of why.

EP: ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ – Flaming June

With a light, musical touch and beautifully cambered melodies, Flaming June have for a long time now been releasing music which will tickle folk fancies. And although they have reintroduced a fuller band sound for new EP ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’, the addition of new layers has done little to dampen those qualities.

IF anything, the new layers have added extra texture to Flaming June’s melodic tapestry. Previous EPs, more focussed on acoustic sounds, have been lovely explorations of female empowerment or lack thereof in the modern world. ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ keeps these themes, but has more freedom to play with the structures and ideas thanks to the wider range of instruments involved.

The song above is a great example – clever song writing, full of great ideas and complimented by the ebb and flow of the full band sound. For more, the website is here.