Ian Easton & The Widowmakers 'Short Stories' Review

“They say we all have a few stories to tell. I do.

From the highs of finding new love, to the lows of finding himself in a major car accident, Ian Easton’s third album ‘Short Stories’ invites it’s listeners to share in his most memorable life experiences. Although his music is typically ring-fenced by the folk, singer/songwriter genre, there’s something which makes this record so much bigger than your stock-of-the-market, guitar-baring song-write. Supported by his backing band The Widowmakers (Dan Parkinson, Daniel Morris and Richie Towerton), the album holds an exclusive richness, both emotionally and musically.  Underlined by an unmissable darkness, ‘Short Stories’ filters Easton’s essence through the most transparent of creative lenses, leaving no corners of his mind unexplored. 

‘Short Stories’ was never a straight-forward process, in fact Easton even found himself eradicating all of it’s original material. He explains: “Just over 18 months ago I started writing this record and 5 months later I scrapped the whole thing. I was involved in a car accident that wiped me out for a long time and I realised that what I was writing about meant nothing to me”. Honest and refined, Easton never holds back on his true feelings. Perfectly framed by ten blissfully dark tracks, they weave together through an array of peaceful yet sorrowful melodies, elegant guitar picking and his deep, haunting vocals.

The introductory song ‘Battery Don’t Fail Me Now’ is probably the most optimistic and upbeat track on the record, as it delves into a time where Easton discovers a new romance, however both separated by distance with the only means of communication being that of text messaging. Each track is abundantly honest and wholesome; Easton’s rife aptitude for exposing himself so emotionally is wholly admirable. The track meets freckling, dainty guitar plucks with a sunny melody, reminiscent of artists such as Newton Faulkner and Mumford & Sons.  

‘And All’ takes a flip of heart and issues his opinions on an ex-girlfriend, starting off with a quiet, building guitar melody he trills softly “How could you, you liar? And it’s two steps forward / And not one look back”.

 A definite highlight on the album is ‘Everyone Knows Everything’, as he explains the misfortune of living in a closely-knitted town where, of course, everyone knows everything. Easton’s vocals are thick and gritty, which are beautifully harmonised by a softer vocal, creating a full-bodied and daunting effect. 

Other stand-out tracks consist of ‘Eyes Red, Seeing Double’, ‘Everything I’m Not’ and ‘No Great Thing’.

Release: 31st March 2017

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