Thursday, 30 May 2013

New Artist Alert: Lucas Hardy - The Blood, Sweat & Tears EP

Followers of this blog will be aware how heavily the Southampton-based kings of pop-punk The City Calls have featured over the years. Unfortunately their reign has since ended but front-man Lucas Hardy is back with his debut solo project.

The Blood, Sweat & Tears EP has shown a real DIY back-to-basics approach for Hardy, who put his name to all aspects of the creation and production of the project, taking him back to his roots and reminding him where it all began. With this great responsibility also comes complete control, which has enabled Hardy to produce something he is proud to release and tour in support of.

The EP kicks off with its title track, a chugging acoustic guitar complemented by falsetto-style vocals, as it progresses with melodic lead-lines and some great harmonious backing vocals. Track 2, City by the Sea, establishes a more rhythmic feel thanks to the acoustic guitar part, with the lyrics surely a nod to a life left behind in Southampton. It's a casual, simple ballad, with the lead vocals often complemented nicely with harmonies and supported by a particularly memorable sing-along chorus. 'Bug' has a different feel still, heavily vocal-led with an upbeat intro which parts for more relaxed verses before the choruses pick up further, progressing the track nicely. The listener's interest is definitely maintained well with the exploration of both predictable and interesting vocal harmonies; it's no easy task to do this with an acoustic singer/songwriter record but Hardy has effectively demonstrated how this is possible without relying on a sole feel and tempo all the way through. Sail Faith closes the record with an electro/synth accompaniment to the lead vocals which themselves grow with confidence as the EP does. The track completes the circle cleverly, returning to the narrowly-textured ballad but still with its own style and feel.

The potential danger with this EP, especially with such a recognisably distinctive vocal such as Hardy's, is that is could have sounded like an acoustic TCC calls record but it really doesn't; Hardy has established himself as a great songwriter and solo artist in his own right with this project which I'm confident will earn him a loyal fanbase and great foundations to continue the next chapter of his career.

The Blood, Sweat & Tears EP is released in the UK on Friday 31st May, so be sure to keep in touch with Lucas via his Facebook page for all the details. Lucas is playing next at Wight Rock Bar on the Isle of Wight on June 22nd; for all future gigs keep your eye on the Facebook page.

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Thanks for taking the time to write :)