Archive for the ‘Singer/Songwriter EP Track Reviews’ Category


Silver Holmes – Isabelle – Track Review 

What a track. It drew me in from the beginning with a piano into reminiscent of Jewel’s Foolish Games but delivered something entirely different. It had deceptively simple lyrics that drew me from the very beginning and had me hooked until the last few notes played. Thought-provoking, powerful and lovely, the haunting melody took me on a journey throughout and the story-telling was masterful. The intricate melody and clashing harmonies leant themselves to the delicate background of piano, sensitively handled. I am anxious to hear more. It took me on a journey, and I was literally swept away.

Jess Lyon-Wall

Acoustic/Singer Songwriter Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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Sirens and Shelter – The Deep End – Track Review

There is a beautiful balance demonstrated by Sirens and Shelter’s, “The Deep End” , between acoustic, melodic ringing high chords with contrasting pop-rock, yet sincere vocals. Touching on a multitude of genres with hints of intricate folky ambience and a pop vocal line and lyrics, the song is stripped back and creates an upbeat honest sound reminiscent of City and Colour. The drums are bright, bouncy and leave room for the cheerful guitar to shine through, especially in the lead up to the chorus where the guitar could have been plucked from a sunny 60s track. With an increasingly growing heavy beat towards the end of the song, there is suddenly a moment of peace, the vocals are prominent, with minimal chords. This leads on back to the chorus, maintaining the gleaming enthusiasm maintained that is apparent throughout the track.  The song has been skilfully woven together, maintaining the listeners’ interest throughout, and providing the urge to listen to more Sirens and Shelter.

Annie Mackinnon

Rock/Indie/Acoustic Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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 Photo by Kay Ibrahim

James Smyth – Sixteen – Track Review 

James Smyth is a 19 year old singer-songwriter from Scotland. Currently residing in London, he is studying popular music at Goldsmiths University.

‘Sixteen’ is a rather elegantly understated affair. The version that I am reviewing is a live version, recorded for a Choosic TV session. Being a live recording, it has a very stripped back production, consisting of a single acoustic guitar, main vocal, and backing vocal contributed by Livi Tambini. It is a flawless performance, which brilliantly showcases James’ ability.

‘Sixteen’ begins with the single guitar energetically playing a major chord progression. Instantly we are propelled into contemporary folk territory, and I feel that it has a slight Celtic tinge. This progression then modulates into a melodic arpeggiated pattern, in which the main vocal shortly joins. The verses flow nicely, and lead pleasantly into the uplifting chorus.

Lyrically, this song has been very well crafted. His ideas are totally original and un-clichéd, and I feel that his style can be compared to the almost poetic, storytelling approach of Dylan. It’s a very reflective track, dealing with subjects such as: the pangs of youth, growing up, regret, etc. I felt very nostalgic upon listening, and I’ve had the (rather catchy) chorus stuck in my head for days!

Smyth has an incredibly distinct voice amongst his contemporaries. His vocal delivery is smooth and creamy, tinged with his Edinburghian accent. If I had to draw comparison, I’d say that his voice on this track is a cross between Paolo Nutini, and Samuel Beam of Iron + Wine.

James Smyth is a 21st century troubadour, with the tender voice of a medieval balladeer.

Be sure to give him a like on Facebook, and even better, go and see him live!

Martin Emmons

Reviewer on Behalf of GIGgle Pics

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