Liam Bailey:’Brand New’ EP review

★★★★

You might remember Liam Bailey from his collaboration with Chase and Status in 2011, when he featured on the top 5 song ‘Blind Faith’. Fast forward 8 years later, and Nottingham’s finest soul artist is back again with a brand new EP, aptly titled Brand New.

By Nathan Matthie |@nathan_matthie | Image @Access records

Release date: February 8th 2019

Label: Access Records

Brand New seems like an experiment but also a challenge for the highly talented Beeston artist, who has said of the EP that it is “heavily inspired by a lot of new music I’ve been listening to recently”. Title track “Brand New” instantly evokes an ambient atmosphere, with a complex array of electric and bass guitars accompanied with Bailey’s Melodic voice. It is the perfect mix between rock and soul, with the chorus revealing Bailey sees “a brand new vision of life, I hide it but I know it is there”. This suggest Bailey isn’t just developing a new musical style, but also changing as a man as he grows up and encounters brand new obstacles in life.

The follow up song “Brother, Why You Gotta Love Her” includes Brand New’s only guest artist on the whole EP, Maverick Sabre. The gentle synths on this song definitely help to portray the deep affection and hurt Bailey is intending to show, and the overall effect is incredibly gripping, “Don’t know where she’s coming’ from, I know the lover’s hands” is just one line of the song which shows Baileys cry for love. As he explained in his press release, he was inspired to write the song “after getting out of a long and painful situation that I was in with someone“.

Next, Bailey sings over a slow piano ballad in “You Saw The Devil In Me”.  Of this song, Bailey says “ I was forced to be introspective and face difficult truths about how I’d been living” Bailey seems to be admitting naivety in a past relationship and also mistakes he has made in the past.

“I was forced to be introspective and face difficult truths about how I’d been living”

LIAM BAILEY

“Hold Tight” is more in keeping with the style you’d typically associate with Liam Bailey. The song is soulful and has a slight groove thanks to a faster pace, “Everything is going to be fine” is a significant lyric that could relate to us all when we are going through a hard time and it is hard to dislike the song for that.

Penultimate track “I Lost My Way” evokes a strong lack of hope and an empathetic atmosphere, with the lyrics suggesting that everything in life is always negative. However the pace of the track gradually increases with help from the percussion and with it, so does hope for a better future.

“Come Clean” is the perfect way to end the EP, the groove flourishing from a rich electric guitar and punchy bassline throughout. Bailey also increases the pitch of his voice in the chorus, which highlights his joy when he finds out what the mystery person in his life “came here for”.

Brand New is definitely an experimental EP,  but Bailey has risen to the challenge and his experiments have paid off. It is a showcase of the artist’s versatility,with a whole host of different instrumentation that people would not typically associate with his style of soulful music. Bailey also uses this EP to take us into his introspective world, reflecting on how the difficulties he has faced have changed him and enabled him to develop into a better man

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