Acoustic/solo music has spent such a long time in the lime light over the past decade or so that it has seen the market become somewhat crowded. From Ben Howard to John Mayer; seemingly all areas of the genre are covered. However London’s Chris James brings with him a stain of electronica over his 4 minute passion driven tracks that places the singer/songwriter in a zenith not explored by many, and with new EP ‘Space In The Clouds’ James puts himself at the forefront in an impressive manner.
Opening and title track to the EP ‘Space In The Clouds’ embodies everything that the EP is in just over 5 minutes; emotive, passion filled song writing that comes across as gently as it does precisely. James’ ability to switch vocal pitch is a pleasure to witness here, with the tones flitting between ambient, and jazzy, yet kept perfectly under control by James.
The lush, yet morose tones of ‘The Force’ and ‘Stairs Up To The Sun’ are the highlights of the EP, with the former being a piano lead heartfelt struggle while the latter sticks to more acoustic routes but remains no less gripping of a track. Despite the ambiance and calming sense that the instrumentation plays throughout not just these songs, but the EP in general; James is expectedly the star, with the ability to convey a sense of desperation with every lyric.
Neither ‘Goin Home’ and ‘Submarine’ offer something distant from what you would expect from a solo EP and while the song writing never nears falling into the trap of being overly forgettable, it similarly never quite travels to areas that create moments of marvel.
‘Space In The Clouds’ doesn’t exactly stomp over ground that hasn’t been tread over before, and despite some interesting and slick uses of folk and electronica, it doesn’t quite create an atmosphere that will be remembered for years to come. Despite this, it is an EP that cannot be doubted in terms of impassioned, prolific vocals with a tint of beautiful atmosphere.
Review by Kristian Pugh