The Boy Who Trapped The Sun – real name Colin Macleod – is already starting to make waves, with a publishing deal with Universal and a record deal with Geffen under his belt already. Not bad going for a youngster fro Lewis, admittedly.
How do the songs stand up to the buzz though? Well, that depends on what you come in expecting. If you trust the comparisons to Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Nick Drake or even Bon Iver you might find this EP a let down. If you ignore them, and try not to pay too much attention to the nu-folk tag The Boy has been picking up then there’s some beautiful stuff.
Title track Home sound nothing like any of those artists above. If it sounds like anything, it’s more like a really good song of an early Gomez album, right down to the distorted vocal break near the end. There’s nothing wrong with that in my eyes (or ears), or with the song. Just, y’know, don’t try to sell me a Gomez single in a Johnny Cash sleeve.
In the Dark has a bit of a Nick Drake feel to it in tone admittedly. Stripped back to vocals and acoustic guitar the song gives The Boy a chance to show off his talents with both to good effect.
The Fox is a warm, gentle ballad that floats along pleasantly, without really doing anything new or surprising. That’s ok too, it’s nice enough. Much the same can be said about the EP’s closing track Change the Clocks. It’s a well crafted and extremely well performed song, but it’s in too much in danger of drifting off into background music rather than demanding “hey you, listen to me!”.
Sandwiched between those two tracks is Lying To Get On Your Good Side, co-written with Ed Harcourt who shares vocal duties, which is much better. Combing across like a bunch of things thrown into a blender – a pinch of Radiohead, a dose of The Who’s “Boris The Spider” – the results are quite wonderful. Playful and witty, with a off kilter, sinister undertone it, like Home, genuinely captures your interest for the entirety of the song.
There’s wonderful songs on this EP, but I’m not so sure about the PR. An acoustic guitar doesn’t turn you into a folk singer, Nu or otherwise. Acoustic rock might be a term that scares some people off, or makes Mojo magazine prick up it’s ears, but it’s a more apt description for what’s going on here to me.
Leaving that aside though, The Boy Who Trapped The Sun is a gifted songwriter and an excellent musician, and Home is a fine taster for his upcoming album. Just try not to have any preconceptions of what you think the EP will sound like and you just might enjoy it that bit more.
The Home EP is released through Chess Club on March 1st.
The Boy Who Trapped The Sun – MySpace