Guise - The Fun Part | EP Review

The voice, beating heart and passion project of frontwoman Jessica Guise, the illusive folk quintet Guise have returned with their first material in approximately five years in the form of their second EP The Fun Part. Whilst half a decade has passed since the release of new material, The Fun Part see’s Guise looking back retrospectively, with the four-track release briefly detailing a ten year period where her own love-life teetered precariously upon perpetual ruin. The documentation of decade worth of romantic tribulations through 15 minutes of material may seem incredibly lean for many, this more stripped down and affair benefits greatly from this duration.

Produced by Jessica Guise’s husband – the decorated and illustrious Frank Turner The Fun Part see’s Guise infuse her tales of romantic failures and errors with subtle humour, experienced intelligence and scant pain. The opening title track and preceding ‘Too Far Gone’ see’s Guise and her fellow songsmiths question where the joy of life on the dating circuit is through fluttering vocals, reserved folk swing and oak scented harmonies. Despite the earnest sincerely, self-deprecation and dry wit underpins such material, allowing the release to sit comfortably among the releases of esteemed label mates such as Sean McGowan, Beans On Toast and the aforementioned Frank Turner.

Whereas the faint humour of these tracks flutters daintily, the contrastive pastel and Spring-time aesthetic of ‘Surprise’ documents the sting unfaithfulness leaves in it’s wake. Bitter melancholy drips forth from the verses sang tentatively from Guise here, something that becomes more evident as the track progresses and the flowery proses begin to wilt.

EP closer ‘Brother In Arms’ deters from the running narrative of the record, with this stripped down ode being a tribute to Guise’s brother and a documentation of the suddenly dark and post-apocalyptic world the two siblings found themselves in after the passing of their late father. In comparison to it’s peers, it’s a far more restrained and choked affair, a tale that Jessica Guise herself narrates solely for the most part. Despite it’s forlorn nature, gentle and tender passion is buoyant, ensuring the track is more of a love song than one of tragedy.

In all, The Fun Part is a swift affair thanks to it’s relatable wit, experienced folk lilt and passionate wryness. A brief and quaint release that many will find relation, solace and poetic comfort in.

Score: 7/10

The Fun Part is out March 7th via Xtra Mile. You can pre-order the record here.

Guise will be touring this spring in support of Frank Turner. Dates below.

03/3/20 - Folkstone, Lea Cliffs Hall

04/3/20 - Brighton, Dome

06/3/20 - Croydon, The Recreational, Fairfield Hall

07/3/20 - Boston, Gliderdrome

08/3/20 - York, The Barbican

10/3/20 - Middlesbrough, The Empire

11/3/20 - Glasgow, Barrowlands

13/3/20 - Bath, The Forum

14/3/20 - Aylesbury, Waterside Theatre

15/3/20 - Southend, Cliffs Pavilion

16/3/20 - Norwich, Waterfront

18/3/20 - Winchester, Guildhall

19/3/20 - Exeter, Lemongrove

20/3/20 - Liverpool, Olympia

21/3/20 - Nottingham, Rock City


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