Acoustic artist Andrew Drummond, has released his first EP, ‘The Grey Pelican’, which on the whole is a rather haunting and emotional debut piece, punctured by the powerful and upbeat refrains in the single ‘Morning Light’.
At first listen to this EP, two things become quite clear. Firstly, Andrew Drummond has an amazing voice, and secondly that although all the tracks are very mellow and easy listening, that this is not an overly happy album. The lyrics are dark, heavy and quite depressing at times. Despite the joyous refrains by Drummond in ‘Morning Light’ (which was reviewed here), it is clear that each song is written from the heart and heavily influenced by the passing of a loved one, which he duly admits as an influence.
The third track, ‘I Can Feel You’ in particular illustrates the above point, being a chilling and emotional song. The slow plucks of each string on the guitar help create this heartfelt and sad effect, which is furthered by the inclusion of the string instruments, a really great touch that helps make this track a standout. The lyrics are so poignant and sung with such emotion, and it has to be my favourite track on the album, you just get drawn into what Drummond must have felt, its very intense.
Unfortunately my favourite track is followed by ‘Wander Aimless’ which is probably the weakest track on the album. It is slow, very repetitive and doesnt have the same emotion that the other pieces generate. ‘Solitary Space’ is a lyrically interesting song that uses some saintly backing vocals to create a different sound to the rest of the album, before finishing off with ‘ Northern Poet’, a well written song that shows off the strength of Drummond’s vocals and tells a story that sounds remarkably similar to Jack and the Beanstalk.
Overall, the Grey Pelican is an enjoyable listen, although slightly on the heavy and depressing side. The vocals are outstanding, and the acoustic guitar is played solidly, but you cannot help but feel that there is something missing, after all there are only so many ways to play an acoustic guitar. The two strongest tracks, ‘Morning Light’ and ‘I Can Feel You’, used the percussion and strings instruments well, and I think that in future Drummond could really benefit from including some different sounds, such a banjo, drum kit, etc just to mix it up and further separate himself from the plethora of acoustic wannabees on youtube.
I have a feeling Andrew Drummond will take a couple more EPs to get his balance right, but with a voice like his, and his strong song writing ability, there is much to be excited about. You can attend his album launch this Saturday (the 10th) at Paddington Uniting Church in Sydney, tickets are $12 at the door.