Warrilow is a musician who understands the power of the understatement. Basing his sound mostly around acoustic guitars and a drum kit, the songs on his debut EP, Chief, are no less powerful for a want of noise. Yet when he does choose to go electric, the effect is all the more striking.
Stand out track, ‘XXII’, utilises this distinction between loud and soft beautifully, creating a stirring, lilting ode to the English countryside. Clocking in at nearly six minutes, the song gradually builds to a climatic guitar solo, leaving the listener with a feeling of just having gone through a huge emotional upheaval.
Opening track ‘The Gallery’ is the closest Warrilow comes to a traditional pop song – while still very folk heavy, the chorus is essentially a pop hook built around the refrain of “form an orderly line”, sounding much like a male Laura Marling. While ‘The Gallery’ is your pop song, EP closer, ‘Rope Bridge’, is the folkiest offering from this release: purely vocals and plucky acoustic guitar, this is Warrilow at his most understated.
With a gift for writing songs with as much depth as these, this Tyneside singer is surely one to watch closely as he develops. With whimsical imagery, and soaring harmonies, this three track EP marks an excellent start for an artist just beginning to discover what he can do.
Chief is released in May via a Kickstarter campaign. More information and links to purchase physical packages can be found here.