Looking Glass - The First Real Target EP

Chris Tapley 03/09/2010

Rating: 3.5/5

Looking Glass is a side project of My Sad Captains' drummer Jim Wallis, this four track EP being his second release after a mini-album which was initially put out on cassette before being re-released on cd last year. It takes the form of fairly standard indie-folk fare, which sounds like a criticism but it's executed with a warmth and sincerity which manages to override that quite easily. A sweet mixture of acoustic guitar layered with horns, lo-fi percussion and piano offers the perfect base for Wallis' naive yet world weary vocals. There's a hint of early Ben Kweller on tracks like 'Roman Road' with self deprecating lyrics like “I think I'll build a mannequin to stand up in my place all those faults so easily corrected” sitting perfectly amongst subtle glimmers of xylophone.

'Best Foot Forward' has a lovely melancholic twinge to it; “I'd do anything to keep you talking I'd say everything I can just to make you speak”. As it swells with the coalescing of piano and light drumming it becomes all the more heart wrenching. 'Wings' has the kind of sincerity which epitomises Conor Oberst's best work, and although the lyrics aren't quite as affecting there's no doubting the honesty they're delivered with.

The accompanying press release notes that Wallis is an occasional live member of Fanfarlo, and there are certain similarities which could be drawn between their respective sounds. Such as on 'Target', which also nods towards Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin at their most tender and lachrymose, there's an overriding optimism through which the sadness is filtered. Yearning though it might be it still seems like perfect summer time listening, the delicate strings and the jaunty piano cadence are particularly radiant. The First Real Target is a lovely little collection of songs which, whilst not breaking any boundaries in terms of originality, will warrant repeated listens and exhibit a talent well worth keeping an eye on.

Looking Glass Official MySpace