Jamie Duff – S/T EP (Ireland, 2015)

I know, you’re here just to read a review, but first of all I wanna tell you a little story…
Everything began this March, while I was having a short holiday in Dublin. You know, for a fella who loves beer Ireland is like heaven! Indeed I had a lot of fun.
On my last night there, me and my girlfriend, we decided to have dinner in this nice pub, Fitzsimons, or something. Dinner was good, beers were awesome but the thing that most impressed me that night was this guy. He was standing on that small wooden stage, holdin’ his guitar while kickin’ a very small bass drum. I remembered he played some cover songs (I remember a splendid interpretation of Tom Odell’s Another Love amongst the others), but in his own way. Guys, you can trust me when I say he was pretty awesome and I really enjoyed the show.
Now, one would like to guess who that guy was isn’t it?

Now that I’ve said my shit I can introduce you Jamie Duff’s self-titled debut EP.
This album is a brief collection of Jamie’s compositions, a neat compromise of pop-folk with some soft rock’n’roll strains (or as he defines himself: Folk’n’Roll), capable to amuse and entertain the listener. The 5 tracks are all very catchy (except for Green Eyes, which doesn’t get my attention) and straight to the point as they will engage you sooner than later, and I ain’t joking saying that I found myself whistling to Shirt & Ties or Masquerade while I was working. Seriously they get you, and the fine thing is that they seem to stand the test of time. I mean, I’ve listened to this stuff for a long time (considering that it has been released in May) to decide whether I had to review it or not. I was actually afraid that after a couple of listens these tunes grew foregone and quite boring (this happens a lot of time whit very catchy music, to me at least), gladly I was terribly wrong.

The number I enjoy the most is Shirt & Ties, works perfectly as leading single of the EP. The leading vocal draws a quite interesting melody line sustained by Jamie’s acoustic guitar. But also the rest of the band does his job and especially the lead guitar plays a bunch of nice counterpoints. The big “issue” is that I’ve enjoyed almost every song. Masquerade has a killer chorus. Coming Home is the big ballad of the collection, so heartfelt. And Shining Light (which is live recorded) sounds beautifully melancholic. Needless to say that the one that I found amiss is Green Eyes, it’s a bit flat and it shows a lack of originality (some solutions sound quite similar to Shirt & Ties), it’s not completely bad, but it kinda ruins a little bit the overall album’s atmosphere. But that’s fine anyway, this is only Jamie Duff’s debut work, so we can forgive some small mistakes.

At the end, the only thing left to say is a big approval to Jamie Duff and his band for these 5 songs of pure fun they have delivered. Also if you like Mumford & Sons or Jake Bugg, for example, you should check out Jamie’s music and if this is not your cup of tea, well, try it anyway. I’m a metalhead (Ed. I define myself as an open-minded metalhead though) but I love this album madly and it’s one of my favourite discoveries of 2015, so give it a chance. And finally, Congratulations Jamie (and also your band off course), keep it up!

1 – Shirts & Ties
2 – Masquerade
3 – Coming Home
4 – Green Eyes
5 – Shining Light (Live)

Label: Self-Released
Websites: Facebook | Website
Release Date: 22nd May 2015
Reviewed by Teo

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