Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Album Review: Drifting by Wayfairer (by Emma Prew)

Wayfairer is the name of London-based Ian Crook’s acoustic punk singer songwriter-style endeavours. He released his debut 4-track EP back in January and, being a fan of all things acoustic punk, I decided to take a stab at reviewing it.

The first song is the rather strangely titled Feet Fingers (otherwise known as toes?). It is a lovely warm and melodic acoustic guitar driven track from the start and Ian’s ever so slightly gravelly vocals are wonderfully pleasing to the ear – ‘My memory tends to fail me, So cut the scenery.’ The addition of some gentle piano to play out Feet Fingers was a nice touch that I wasn’t expecting. A fine start to Drifting.

Bookmarks begins with more of a finger picked guitar style playing a sweet little melody. When Ian’s vocals kick in and the guitar playing switches to strummed chords, I am reminded of Great Cynics – or at least Great Cynics when it was more just Giles and his guitar. Like Giles, Wayfairer has a knack for storytelling within his songs. I particularly liked the middle point of the song where the finger picking style returns for a sort of interlude before the final verse. ‘The furious affection, The short span of attention, Paddling ankle deep, In a place I know too well…’

Drifting is a predominantly acoustic EP but, even so, the third track, Warped In Soul, feels like it has a lot more going on than simply strummed chords. It begins with multiple sounds – I think, acoustic guitar and piano – which immediately give the track a bigger sound, despite not being overly electric nor having drums, etc. There is also a nice balance between this ‘bigger’ sound and the vocals which are no means drowned out by the music.

The final track on Drifting is titled Floating City. It’s a fairly sombre-sounding track, both musically and lyrically, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great track – in fact, it might well be my favourite on this EP. ‘Because I’ve been down this road before, The same old cracks keep tripping me over, I found myself killing time, My shelves harbour dust, Like ships in the night.’ This song, and to be honest much of Wayfairer’s music, feels like it would be just as suited to being heard around a campfire as it would in many a bar around the country.

You can stream and download Drifting on Bandcamp. You can also buy a physical copy in cassette tape form from Disconnect Disconnect.

And like Wayfairer on Faceboook here.

This review was written by Emma Prew.