How does a prolific artist sustain interest in 2015?
There is no answer to that. But, in these disposable times, one plan of action is to release music often and to strive to keep the quality of the songs high and the originality startling. The latter is easier said than done.
But Paul Wilkes, who has released his second EP of 2015, has certainly managed the former. Opening with the cinematic title track, ‘Take The Sunlight’, Wilkes sets out his stall as an acoustic balladeer set firmly in the classic songwriting tradition.
The widescreen strings and canvas get even bigger on the Roy Oribison-esque ‘Lonely Eyes’, with a melody as old as the hills rolling Wilkes’ baritone home. ‘Sky Has Fallen Down’ continues in the same vein, but there is also a hint of the Americana of The Band or Jason Isbell in the arrangement and instrumentation. The Richard Ashcroft croon that Wilkes has made his stock in trade is coloured in with some gorgeous harmonies too, and the lightness of touch on the tune is a welcome change of pace.
The ethereal intro to closing track ‘My Own’ suggests something new from the Wirral-based troubadour and, indeed, the Lennon-esque double track vocal gives the brushed-drum finger-picker an edge that perhaps the earlier tunes lack. Either way, this is the standout tune and a song that reveals itself more with each listen.
Let’s hope there is even more to come from Paul Wilkes in 2015 – maybe this is the way the songwriter will reveal even more of himself with each release.
Take The Sunlight EP is available to buy from iTunes