A first EP has a lot of work to do in a short space of time. It has to demonstrate your quality as a musician and a songwriter, while also usually establishing some sort of style through which you can base yourself in the larger musical community. The danger here is the plague of creative conservatism when the small collection tries to be all things to all people. This is especially true of music leaning towards the pop genre. All things considered, Greg Clifford’s debut EP, ‘Why Can’t You See?’, is an introduction to a somewhat familiar modern pop/rock sound, but with solid, intelligent musical craftsmanship.
In short, Clifford’s music operates within a relatively predictable genre but demonstrates a musical integrity that allows it to step out from behind the wall of melodic monotony. The title track of the EP is an accessible, fun track with a seductive melody. Peppered throughout the track is some nice instrumental phrasing from the piano and guitar that give it more sonic depth and a breezy, dreamlike quality. Not only is it a solid pop song, it is clear that Clifford knows how build a song towards its maximum potential.
One For Luck starts with some wistful ohhh’s and some gentle acoustic strumming which you can imagine playing in the background as the main character of your favourite TV show reflects on the turbulent events of the previous 40 minutes of storyline. The most stripped down track on the EP, One For Luck is a gentle and very likeable composition which represents the more evocative side of the singer.
Concluding the EP (not including the extended version of Why Can’t You See? which isn’t all that much different) is the latter day Oasis inspired The Weight of Living. It is in this style and sound where the most promising prospects lie for Clifford. Instrumentally dense with some inspired use of reverb and layering, the closing track is a major success of composition. It’s edgy and packs one hell of a punch.
Greg Clifford has said a lot in this debut. While there is some degree of diversity here, the one certainty is that his musical credentials are well and truly established with ‘Why Can’t You See?’ According to his Facebook page, he will be putting together some new material in London later this February. The strength of this debut alone merits keeping a close eye on this Dubliner over the coming weeks and months.