Elkyn – Beech EP 

Release Date: Out Now

You know those tiny glass bottles of sand that you collect on family holidays to the Isle of Wight or that oak leaf that you press inside the pages of a book in the autumn but don’t open it again until the summer? That feeling of something small encapsulating a huge range of senses, memories and emotions. Well that’s where the new seven track EP from Leeds based Elkyn took me immediately upon listening to it and I think everyone could get a kick out of this snapshot of time. Also, it passes my EP length test because even though there are seven songs, some of them are just nuggets so it’s slips through the net.

Opening with ‘Seventeen’ (one of the aforementioned nuggets) and a gently undulating acoustic guitar shows Elkyn (Joseph Donnelly to his mum) to be a deft and subtle songwriter along the lines of Jamie Yost or Drakes Island. Moving neatly on to ‘Yue’ and the pace picks up slightly as the guitar is joined by some ambient melodies and a distant vocal that sounds like a more introspective version of Noah Gundersen. By the time we get to devour ‘Avenue’, we are barely 5 minutes in to the EP but the joy is there for all to see as a tale of home comforts and comfort in general unfolds to an easy and reassuring acoustic riff.

‘Here’ is a positively epic tune by comparison at over five minutes long but the length is necessary to allow room for a build of equally epic proportions that relies on the insistent chug of those guitar strings to make it up that hill in readiness to die on it. The whispering tones of ‘Winter’ speak eloquently of frosty windows and warm breath on cold mornings as those haunting guitar notes pluck the snowflakes from the air. The dark and cold tones continue on ‘Again’ but this time the vibe is more akin to staying under the duvet all day for warmth and comfort while Elkyn’s voice pleads and reassures calmly. The EP closes on ‘Stupid World’ which has a mid-west Americana vibe to it but when the rattling drums join in and there’s some kind of country climax there’s definitely a sense that Elkyn could go down well in the US. I am blown away by the simplicity of this EP but also the huge amount of emotion and nuance that gets fitted in to just seven tracks. Stunning.