Stu Daly of Chewing On Tinfoil fame releases this, his second EP in as many years. ‘You and Me and These Four Walls’ spans only three songs, but each track manages to make a statement of intent. It’s relatable in the most straightforward of ways, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself agreeing with much of what you hear. While world’s away from Chewing on Tinfoil, this EP (much like last year’s ‘Heritage’ EP) proves that that might not be such a bad thing, and that the gentler side of music is as much Daly’s forté as punk music is.
Opening track Petrol Blue starts with the gentle lulling of Daly’s voice and his guitar, with undertones of melodic piano cutting through. It grows into a bigger, bolder track by the end of the harmony laded first chorus. Music aside, lyrically the song is a standout, featuring phrasings such as: “So I folded my words back in my mouth/Hoping my teeth wouldn’t let them out.” Thought provoking and powerful, Petrol Blue is a palatial track.
Very Okay is a more delicate track that showcases the depth brought to the music by the addition of a hugely talented backing band. This backing band is six-strong, and creates an altogether bigger sound that is both captivating and sumptuous. Shannon Courtney’s violin and Emma O’Reilly’s backing vocals, especially in the second half of the song, elevate it to a level where many songs of this style never even come close to reaching.
Closer Walk Off is a different affair, and at times feels like it’s half finished in comparison to the rest of the EP. The first half comprises of just Daly and an electric guitar, before violin is introduced at the second chorus. If the EP was made up of songs in this vein, it could be taken differently. But as the two tracks that preceded it set the bar so high, Walk Off just falls short. The song suffers from a lack of percussion and it struggles to hold together. However, the song is heartfelt, and as it is much more stripped back and raw sounding, the lyrics are more prominent and engaging. “Because I’d rather give up than let you go/Because I don’t want anyone to know/I’d rather be called a walk off” provides a somewhat sombre end to an EP that was previously bursting with life.
‘You and Me and These Four Walls’ is an EP that continues to pave the way for Stu Daly’s solo music. It’s enticing, captivating and always from the heart. The ability to craft songs with this much emotion conveyed in both the lyrics and the accompanying music is no easy feat, and at times it feels like these songs belong in poetry books, as they are so well written. While Walk Off is a little bit of a let down, it’s too good to drag down the fantastic Petrol Blue and the emotive Very Okay. This EP is further proof that while many singer/songwriters are very samey and fail to deviate from the norm, some turn the norm on it’s head and create something that is noticeably different.