While sorting through the mountain of music piling up in my kickass cubical, I came across an EP from Ferraby Lionheart. As I glanced over the simple bio that came with the disc, I was immediately drawn to the portion of the opening paragraph that mentions he idolizes Shel Silverstein and recorded the EP in his living room and kitchen of his Los Angeles studio apartment. I can't say that I have ever seen anybody name drop Shel Silverstein in their bio before, so I threw the CD in strictly out of curiosity.
To my absolute surprise, my ears were treated to a pop gem. A little bit Jason Falkner, some Ben Folds and even a dash of Sir Paul McCartney are all apparent in the charming songs of this musician. So where exactly did this dude come from? After doing a little nosing around, I discovered that Ferraby's musical career has been focused until recently around his pop-rock outfit Telecast, who released an EP independently in the US and through Falsetto Records in the UK.
While I don't know much about Telecast, he has made it clear that a solo career is a definite possibility with this new release. The DIY sound of the self-titled EP is jam packed with heartfelt melodies, such as on the opening track, "Tickets To Crickets." With nothing more than piano, tambourine, handclaps and some other subtle percussive noises, surrounded by multi-layered harmonies and a smidge of guitar, this folky pop tune shows just how strong Ferraby's songwriting truly is. I am reminded of Adem, who released a fantastic folk-pop album on Domino titled Homesongs a couple of years ago, proving that sometimes less really is more. It takes a damn talented musician to pull off songs with such stripped down arrangements, and Ferraby Lionheart is just that.
"The Fighter" is the first song on the EP to actually have a strong percussive beat, comprised of what sounds like a crashing of a metal trashcan and a cymbal, giving a lo-fi charm to the rhythm of the track. The song then opens up to a lush chorus, with a pop melody that I'd expect out of Jason Falkner, who remains an underrated genius in my book. Those Falkner comparisons come back in full force on "The Ballad Of Gus And Sam," in what is the only real rock song on the EP. You can't help but clap along to this sunny track.
Finding new music as great as Ferraby Lionheart's EP is like finding a needle in a haystack. Although most of the time it results in nothing but disappointment, occasionally you stumble upon that one great new artist that makes the search worthwhile. Head over to his MySpace page and give him a listen. You won't regret it.