Maxwell Varey - Ivory EP (One House) 

Release Date: Out Now

I've got to say, and I say this with love, 2023 hasn't been the best year for male solo artists from the UK on the whole so I was really pleased to receive this excellent debut EP from Wigan's Maxwell Varey. The 'Ivory' EP opens with the title track and it's an instantly arresting song with drums that insist upon you and the kind of melodies that Bastille or Coldplay would relish in blasting out across stadium audiences. 'Ain't It Funny' has a more chaotic energy like a bunch of lads going out on a bender but starting off down the arcades and bouncing around like a pinball as the guitars shimmy and ping and Varey's voice swaggers in with a sense of confidence that instantly catches your eye. 

On 'Don't Wait', Varey goes into full indie-pop banger mode with wonky synths bouncing around on top of crunchy indie guitars and driving drums getting you ready for the day. 'Sorry' continues in the same vein but this is more vulnerable with elements of the Kooks about it as the verses find Vary singing with just the beats and bass for company at times. The fifth and final track, 'Falling Down', is perhaps the most mature with elements of Joy Division and the Smiths mixed in with the pomp of the Killers and the energy of the Kaiser Chiefs swirling in the neon lights and pumping along on one hell of a bass line. After the first listen of this one I had to remind myself that not only was this a release from a solo artist but it is also his debut EP so, yeah, colour me impressed. 

More information: