Joe Garvey‘s self titled debut EP marks the first realisation of Joe‘s incredible potential. The range of songs on the EP really displays his musical and vocal ability. The excellent production brings to life the main driving factors behind Joe‘s brilliant song writing which is ever so apparent on this EP.
If you’ve listened to Joe before, you’re probably more accustomed to his stripped back, acoustic songs. However, no expense seems to have been spared on production quality on this exciting EP; the range of instrumentation is fantastic, and really adds so many dimensions to the great core songs that Joe had in place. This is perhaps best demonstrated in Long Way To Fall; which begins with just guitar and vocals, before slowly integrating more instruments throughout; drums, bass, piano, even a brass section. The sudden drop back to how the song was clearly conceived, just after the breakdown, provides an amazing contrast for the musical eruption of the final chorus to really climax and display how far this song has been developed.
Of course, not all songs require such a comprehensive arrangement, and You And I is evident of that. The collaboration with Emma T is stripped back, almost to the bare essentials, with only the piano included for depth and colour. This places the listener’s focus almost entirely on the lyrics. The depiction of a remorseful reflection of lost love and thinking of what might have been is vividly conveyed with true emotion and feeling in a heartfelt performance. This creates an instant engagement with the listener about a topic that is all too familiar for most of us.
Further, what I really like about this EP in particular, is how it retains its modern Pop oriented sound; the catchy hooks and melodies, while managing to incorporate a tremendous depth of harmonic content. The use of rich, colourful chord extensions is reminiscent of initial workings of Pop music from the 1930s era. The combination of these two era defining features is most prevalent in Joe Garvey‘s You Don’t Have To Know. Usually, in this style, this level of harmonic content immediately leans it towards jazz. However, the extensive chords are applied so seamlessly and with such ease, that they do not prevent, or contradict, the distinctive, imaginative and memorable style from flourishing in any way.
Overall, the Joe Garvey EP is well-conceived, developed and actualised. At its core, the lyrics create an emotional relationship with the listener. The rich harmonic colour adds extra interest, and variety to provide the perfect platform for the delivery of the relatable messages of the songs. Finally, the production and arrangement really brings the songs to life in their own unique way. Joe Garvey has released an excellent debut, and is certainly one to watch for the future.