Back in 2015 a friend of mine, Jonathan Davy, asked me if I could review an album released by his musician brother Paul. Like me, Paul resides in Yorkshire so there was a certain element of kinship anyway. Despite being somewhat nervous about reviewing an album by request, I thoroughly enjoyed it and gave it a very favourable review.
In 2016, Jonathan died and left a void in the life of everyone that knew him. None more so than Paul who took himself off to the Isle of Lios Mort (Lismore) to gather his thoughts and memories. Accompanied by his guitar, Paul sat down to pen some new music to reflect his sadness and hopes for the future. This EP, or Mini Album as Paul calls it, "Ancestors" is the result.
I have never been a fan of EPs as I always feel slightly short changed and generally want more music. However, this is probably a good thing for the deliverer of the music as you should always leave your listener wanting more. This EP though is just perfect in both length and emotion.
I have never previously reviewed music about someone that I know personally and, in this case, of a lost friend. It makes for a very emotional roller coaster ride and I will confess to shedding a tear or two.
Paul's music is delicate on the ears with his melancholic voice, sounding somewhat like Neil Young at times. As with his previous LP, Paul has worked with Nigel Stonier and Seadna McPhail and between them they have delivered an absolute gem of a record.
"What Am I To Do" typifies Paul's emotive lyrics. His sadness is amplified by the use of the harmonica and cello to accompany his guitar work. This song will resonate with anyone that has lost someone close.
All five tracks offer something different. "Who's Going To Miss You When You're Gone" is a tribute to the NHS for their support of Jonathan whilst also criticising the current demolition of our wonderful health service. Another track "Clouds" is about hope and coming out of the other side after a devastating event in your life. The title track "Ancestors" is a gentle waltz describing where we have come from and the time that we will be reunited. "Go Tell Aunt Mary" is an upbeat, almost rock song about a fictional person that may be the last person we see in this life as we prepare to depart.
Although the constant theme running through this EP is that of mortality, it is also surprisingly uplifting with its thoughtful lyrics delivering hopes and dreams for the future. It will most certainly bring comfort to those that are in need of a bit of support at a tragic time.
This EP is a fabulous tribute to Jonathan who was a truly lovely man and who I know would approve of this musical dedication. The songs pull at the heartstrings and can only have been written by someone who really cares about life and love and has the ability to pour his emotions into memorable music. That someone is Paul Davy!
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