JOEY LYON – DEEP TALKS
Joey Lyon’s Deep Talks EP begins with a sweeping piano chord; simple and gentle, his vocals come in beautiful and sincere. I thought I was getting something like the male Lemolo which is certainly something to strive for, but what that first song Aurora actually delivers is this building and billowing epic that fills out the space more and more until it climaxes, takes a detour, and closes. Each of the EP’s four tracks start out deceptively simple and then slowly and subtly construct a more vast song that feels so natural you’re not even sure how you started off.
For a time Seattle was littered with musicians who moved here with a guitar and a folk-dream of becoming the Head and the Heart or the Fleet Foxes, the ugly truth was that you can’t become another band you can only become your band, and one by one they were each exposed as frauds, well-intentioned frauds, but frauds none the less. Seattle grew weary of folk guys with guitars and the market crashed. Then we got this second wave of artists some who were local who had to adapt and others like Joey Lyon from California who was writing something completely different.
A poet and songwriter with an actual degree from Seattle Pacific University you can tell from the very start that he knows the in’s and out’s of how these songs are constructed, from their beautiful lyrical base through to their expansive musical composition. In other hands it might feel like too many instruments thrown at your ears unnecessarily but you can feel that Lyon knows exactly how to introduce what and when. The Ep’s closing track Overtime is the perfect example, like every song on the EP it’s a journey as much as anything and that arena rock guitar should sound cheesy and overkill but there’s only just enough and never too much.
The fist thing that actually came to mind when I thought about summing up this album as a whole was the career of Cataldo’s Eric Anderson, who began with these simple folk songs and as his career developed he developed in to more of a sing/songwriter with a deep and expansive sound. In particular though I thought of Anderson’s career arch within each of Deep Talk’s songs, which all start out minimal and lead you into believing you’re in store for a touching and emotional series of folk ballads, at least until the whole song starts to shift on you to beautiful perfection.
I can get frustrated by EP’s from time to time, I’m never totally sure what they are: is it the full extent of what you’re capable of? Is this a teaser for your upcoming album? Is this just your beginning? With Deep Talks I was frustrated because I wanted to hear more. Moab at Sunrise has a very Thom Yorke quality to it but feels uniquely different, with a stabby guitar trusting in and slashing all over, I need more of that, I hear new music every week and there are so few artists who can make that shift and do so in a compelling way.
All Time Low is the EP’s most straight forward song with the most simplistic arch, but also one that tricks you into thinking that it will be the exception that it’s going to have this folk-rock feel though and though with maybe a hint a synthesized atmosphere, but then right before it ends everything drops out and it goes full on synthesizer in an atmospheric tidal wave. I love that. Again, I needed more.
Deep Talks is a really pleasing journey that takes you on a ride, you have no idea where it’s going but the progression feels so natural that you can’t help but feel satisfied. Joey Lyon’s Deep Talks is out October 1st, and this is an album you must check out: here on Soundcloud. But you can also find it on Spotify and Apple music.