James Erswell - Walking In The Sky

Owain Paciuszko 28/02/2010

Rating: 3/5

Bright, breezy indie-pop bursts out of the speakers with the opening of this three track EP by singer-songwriter Erswell, it sounds like The Charlatans in particularly euphoric swagger, the only hold back being a slightly unenthused vocal by Erswell at times that makes any potential joy feel quite forced. Then again whether this is an attempt a knowing Rock sneer a la the influence of Oasis. In the final refrain of 'Yes, I feel...' over and over he recalls James-circa I Know What I'm Here For and you kind of want that vibe to continue.

Shine Bright's lazy strum and hazy fug suits Erswell's vocal better, with echoes of Ray Davies covered by The Vines in Autumn Shade mode. Unfortunately as much as this track truly suited Erswell's style the title track misses the mark, opening with synths and a processed beat that recalls Big Calm Morcheeba, even down to a slightly too chirpy piano line. No matter how much vocal production there is it does little to disguise how awkward this track feels in its entireity, with lyrics that probably should have a 'drug' connotation just sounding a bit twee. Where Erswell was probably aiming for Stone Roses he wound up barely scrapping Ian Brown's solo work at its laziest.

Final track aside there's a strength squirreled away in Erswell's work, especially in the looser second track, however when his ambition tries too hard to shadow his idols things full apart.