Eric Ness – All The Things You Are

Eric Ness All The Things You ARe

This three track EP from Camden-based Scandinavian Eric Ness starts strongly with the jaunty playful folk strut of the title track, sounding like Ed Harcourt‘s quirkier tunes or Sondre Lerche in high spirits, Ness’ voice switches from a soft crooning to a Sylvester the Cat-like splutter whenever the track calls for it, the lyrics are list of his foibles, eccentricities and pet peeves. It’s a jovial and silly little number, but sweet hearted and fun.

The scatty Valentine isn’t as successful, a light pop-folk tune with shades of Paolo Nutini and Newton Faulkner, except married to a slightly more ragged musical arrangment more fitting of Ness’ persona. Sadly it’s a breezy if uninspired little tune in which Ness coos in falsetto ‘I’m not spending my time/On women and wine.’ Meanwhile on Supah Glue he uses an arch doo-wop backing vocal for the intro to this laidback summery ballad, though when it reaches its ‘I’m not just somebody with a love song’ chorus it’s strayed too far into mawkishness, if you do like your pop twee and self-referential and saccharine then you may find something to enjoy in this candy-coloured croon, however its sentiments are too artificial to really resonate, whilst it aims for a kind of lively – slightly woozy – sing-a-long feel it feels too clean and crisp and lacking in emotion.

Ness, at least, has a style that is a little refreshing when compared to the usual singer-songwriter-by-numbers, however – despite a good first track – Ness stumbles into the lyrical trappings and limitations of his contemporaries, abandoning the scruffiness that made the opening number appealing in favour of insipid pop.


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