New music from Stevie Mac - a 4-track EP - well, 5 if you count a bonus track!
(Details of how to buy, here - https://steviemac.bandcamp.com/album/rickety-ship-ep )
Stevie is a guy with a guitar and a voice and a collection of old
keyboards and things from Belfast. He's been in a few bands over the years when it suits him but when he's not he's usually penning his own material.
The opening moments of the first track, 'Rickety Ship', sound like a piano lesson and I thought: 'Hmmm, what am I in for here?' But, then the vocal kicks in and wow - Stevie Mac draws us in to his thoughts on a rickety ship's journey through life, the challenges of maintaining strong relationships and, the ups and downs of survival in an unpredictable world, rather like navigating the swells of an ocean's waves. The arrangement is clean but it's the voice that nails the song. Powerful.
'O Victoria' rocks from the first blow of a harmonica and, compliment intended, at the chorus I instantly got a whiff of Ray Davies and The Kinks. It's a brilliantly annoying song because, after several plays, I'm singing the chorus to myself - 'O Victori, O Victori, O Victoria'. If you want a foot-tapping, audience participation, radio-friendly track, here you are. Infectious.
'Daniel's War" changes the atmosphere with a mournful song that has a beautifully played acoustic guitar introduction and once again Stevie's stunning throaty vocals give you confidence that you are in the hands of a singer who can wring every emotion out of a lyric. After a few plays, I'm still trying to work out what is at the core of the song but I love lines like: 'The tinderbox is sparking, the feet they are a-marching.....". Mesmerising.
'This Island" again explores a relationship. Is it possible to live in isolation enjoying the simple things in life - sand, sea, dreams - with all the complications and challenges that love throws at us? 'When we came to this island, was it meant to be for always.........' The beautiful, simple arrangement and assured guitar plus the majesty of Stevie Mac's soulful voice combine to deliver an outstanding song. Superb.
There is a bonus a capella track that just underlines how strong a singer Stevie is. Showcase the naked voice of a singer, stripped of almost any backing and you can tell whether or not the singer is up to snuff. There is no doubt here. Uplifting.
This is a terrific EP and everyone involved should be applauded for producing strong material that deserves enthusiastic support and much airplay. Go on, do yourself a big favour and download it.
Thanks for sharing it, Stevie. Good luck with it.
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