With the face of a boy and the deep baritone of a well-built man, George Ezra has erupted on to the scene with his triumphant debut Wanted On Voyage. Bursting at the seams with beautifully written blues-folk influences, Ezra has proved that all hope is not lost when it comes to modern music. His exquisite song writing, along with that distinctive tone, is a real advert for young talent.
From the word go we are thrown in to the foot-tapping opener, ‘Blame It On Me’. With rhythmic strumming and light tambourine in the chorus, the feel of the album is set from the start, and you know you are on to something good. ‘Budapest,’ ‘Cassy O’ and ‘Barcelona’ are all written about Ezra’s time spent travelling around Europe. Though ‘Budapest’ and ‘Barcelona’ are slower, more romantic renditions, with foot stomping ‘Cassy O’ livening up the album. Singing with such maturity, Ezra’s romantic notions about love and finding himself, all come from a youthful perspective where he still has a lot to discover, and with a break through album such as this, it is just the tip of the ice burg for Ezra.
‘Listen To The Man’ has a blues swing to it. “You don’t have to be scared, you don’t need a plan,” he sings; living life to the full is his motto and youth and talent are certainly on his side, as the creeping blues bass line and twang of the guitar lift the song in to a rhythmic sway. ‘Did You Hear The Rain?’ completely changes the feel of the album, beginning with a powerful monologue (consisting of just vocals) it builds to an aggressive crescendo of guitar and processed percussion. With this change Ezra shows us that he is as diverse as he is talented, holding him in good stead for possible future albums.
Ezra has been on most people’s radars since emerging fifth in the BBC’s sound of 2014. For those of you who have only heard his well-received singles, Wanted On Voyage will surpass any inhibitions you may have. It’s easy to fall in love with the stripped back nature of the album. The raw and unprocessed feel has allowed space for Ezra to grow as an artist and with the simplicity of the instruments involved, each song is carried by vocals that are way beyond his years. Taking his inspiration from artists such as Bob Dylan, George Ezra has brought back a genre that seems to be buried beneath thoughtless, mass-produced drivel. The big-hearted melodies and well-crafted story telling has been a clear asset to his success.
Wanted On Voyage is out on 30th January via Sony Records.