Release Date: 4th June 2015
18 months ago I reviewed singer/songwriter Oliver Daldry’s debut album ‘The Boy Who Fell’ that wonderful debut was full of raw passion and had a sound well beyond his 19 years. Now though he is back with his next release, a shorter one this time in the form of his ‘After Dark’ EP. As he has grown into his twenties, his music has matured and that is clear to hear throughout this next chapter in his musical career.
It’s a slow start to the EP with ‘Lay Me Down’ and its acoustic guitar chords that oscillate intricately with squeals punctuating the calm. When the vocals come in, you can instantly tell how Daldry’s voice has matured and there is an air of The Maccabees’ Orlando Weeks vocal quality here. The choruses are filled with soaring vocals and dramatic drum beats taking up the tempo here. But this still remains a subdued track with sparse sounds which somehow still manage to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Flowing rhythms and calming chords bring us into title track ‘After Dark’, as layers of ethereal beauty stack up creating a stunning acoustic song with ebbing and flowing guitar, soft hi-hats and richly toned vocals. The choruses are much bigger here, a huge difference from what has come before, with pounding drums and higher pitched vocal notes creating a tribal-esque atmosphere and delivered as a complete epic.
Yo-yoing guitar notes take us up and let us down quickly as we enter ‘Ghost Town’ before crashing cymbals and melodic chords are added producing quite a magical feel. The vocals continue to have that mix of rich and indulgent tones mixed with the hollowness of the softer moments. Again, the chorus is huge with big drums and the building sounds of the guitar and piano culminating finally. Throughout, there is a feel good edge to this and you’ll find yourself swaying along to the infectious melodies.
Final track ‘Darkness’ is a slow build of tinkling notes before the gorgeously soft voice comes in speaking of darkness, emptiness and despair. Though they may be quite sad and depressing lyrical themes, they are delivered in such a way that they are really stunning to listen to. The deep thump of the drum perfectly juxtaposes the higher pitched up and down of the acoustic and when the choruses arrive, the whole thing becomes bigger making the track seem fuller. Something which imitates you the feeling you get when the sun comes up in the morning and the magic that brings with it. Soaring backing vocals and massive percussion sounds ends this one a grand and magnificent note; it’s absolutely brilliant way to end this excellent EP.
Check out ‘Ghost Town’ the lead single from the EP below: