Written Friday, November 1
The debut EP from The Living is a cool and smooth serving of soulful R&B. From the first sung notes of the opening track “Them Days” you’re drawn into his voice. The lyrics are universally relatable. “Some days I’m not brave,” The Living sings. “Sometimes I don’t want to leave these gates. Those are the times I don’t want to explain. I just want to pack my things and run away.” When the chorus kicks in shortly after you might find yourself snapping your fingers and tapping your toes without even realizing it. For me, by the time the clean, bluesy guitar joins in on the final chorus, I had decided that this album is exactly what I’ve been missing.
And if that song doesn’t hook you just try the next one. The Living has a gift for singing precise and effective lines. “My father died a poor man, but so rich in love,” opens track four, and the delivery is so impactful. The chorus on this track is catchy as hell. I can see why it was the first single released from the EP.
It’s an added treat that we get an appearance from Ashleigh Ball, singer of Vancouver darlings Hey Ocean! She sings a duet on the track “Could You Be?” The two have a great chemistry and again the lyricism is poignant.
The production on this EP is minimal and concise. That clarity brings power to the vocal performance and memorability to the song overall. The grooving rhythm section, the fantastic guitar playing, and the soulful, powerful vocal performance mesh together perfectly in an intoxicating stew of beats, melody and poetry. It’s a must-hear debut.