A while ago I reviewed George’s single ‘Push Back the Sun’, and boy was that impressive. This EP has completely knocked my socks off; almost to the point of speechlessness (or should that be wordlessness?).
So get ready for five tracks of sumptuous lush sound, a journey into the sound of calm. Five songs that impress with an understated, but incredibly wonderful, level of writing and playing. A meditation on gentle joy. A sound that is all about feel and soul.
At this point I have to tell you that, yes, George’s guitar is the standout on the EP tracks. That almost goes without saying. But it needs to be said that while his playing is outstanding. This is no display of guitar pyrotechnics, it’s not show-offy. This is the epitome of quietly impressive.
The music is jazzy, slightly soul-y but also dreamy. It features beautiful horn arrangements, subtle vocals. The joy is in the ensemble playing while at the same time featuring that glorious guitar. I get hints of Miles Davis, George Benson in the mix. I mean who knew that jazzy dream-pop or dreamy jazz would be a thing, much less sound this good.
The EP opens with ‘Why Didn’t You?’ which deceives with it’s opening dream-pop sound until the horns come in with that sweet sweet jazz soul sound. There are gentle vocals – I’m assuming from George. That dreamy slightly warped dreamy guitar picks it’s way carefully through the song. There is the feel of calm, the words ask ‘why didn’t you come up for air’; it’s a mantra.
That sonic feel continues with ‘Reminiscent’ but there’s the addition of more of a soul feel. Wordless female vocals that are oh-so sweet. Slightly more urgent horns that don’t break the feeling because they’re there but not upfront.
‘Remember The Days’ adds in a pop feel that comes and goes. The sweet wordless vocals return with an edge of hip-hop. It swings, in a gentle way, but it swings. The sound is so complex and multi-layered that it reaches sonic overload.
With the closing track – ‘Cornucopia’ – just to blow our minds completely, there’s a returning Spanish guitar that runs through the track; while George’s guitar warps and echoes its way in waves of sound. Which, just to let you know, the Soundcloud waveform display shows; it’s a series of perfect waves. I just don’t have a clue how to describe this, beyond saying it’s incredibly gorgeous.
At the end of the EP I am left with my mind reeling and completely blown. Both by the technical skill and, more importantly, the emotional impact of the four tracks. The whole EP maintains an overall sense of the same feel while the individual tracks do their own thing.
The songs meld sounds from late fifties/early sixties jazz to now into something the likes of which I haven’t held before. Something that sounds retro and of now. Something that is not about fitting into a niche or a genre but is about the joy of making music.
This EP is something else, it’s compelling, magical, beautiful. Get ready to take a trip, a trip into the wonderful musical mind of George Bloomfield.