London’s folk specialist Alex Bayly moves into 2021 with a lovely new collection of songs to share. Following on from his debut album ‘Ley Lines‘ last year, this bank of four is a welcome addition to his increasing portfolio of impressive and dreamy soundscapes.
Before the Coronavirus watered the live music scene down to its current non-existent state, Alex agreed to perform at one of our little live showcases down in Lewisham. It was a brilliant night of acoustic folk with TADGH, NEEV and Frankie Morrow also stepping on stage. His performance was top drawer – Jesus, that night seems like a distant memory, on reflection.
An ever-present on the London live circuit and a passionate, hard-working musician – Bayly has surely felt the pinch of having his wings clipped over the last twelve months. Perhaps, the only upside of today’s climate has been the time lockdown has afforded him in terms of scribing new material. ‘Skipping Stones EP‘ is a mix of brand new compositions and a couple of older ideas tumbled together.
As always, Bayly hits the mark. It’s a stripped-back EP, filled with soft, glistening acoustic guitar melodies and whimsical harmonies. Henry V opens the collection in a dreamy fashion, Bayly’s vocals akin to the early murmurings of Wild Beasts. The title single, Skipping Stones follows that impressive opener and it’s a tribute to the naughties folk falsetto work of Justin Vernon no doubt. A solid sound. It’s True is next in line, a more up-tempo offering that also has quite the throwback sound and a killer harmonica segment.
Morning Bird closes the EP and after a few listens through, I can safely announce its my favourite. Initially Henry V got the nod but I stand corrected. Everything about the closing track oozes chill. Although, the dreaded scratching fret sound is rampant in the mid-section but the Fleet Foxes-esque harmonies elevate it above and beyond any complaints that may have been brewing within. This is high-level folk!
There is nothing surprising about the high quality of this new release from Bayly – the only surprise maybe, for me, is that more people aren’t listening to his music. A mercurial talent and a sound fella too.
FFO: Good music.
About ‘The Sound Sniffer’
The Sound Sniffer is a one-man music blog which is still only a baby – Founded by Kevin Coakley, a music writer and ghostwriter, in early 2019. ‘The Sound Sniffer’ also runs gigs and showcases in London since Oct 2019. The showcases are picked from artists found in the blog’s submission inbox.
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