Astronaut Mike aka Philip Wakefield is a singer songwriter from New Hampshire who released Summer Bummer. The whole EP is three songs that span around seven minutes. This is a guy with an acoustic guitar aggressively strumming, lightly picking and singing. There really isn't much to it and the production is the level of a demo.
He opens with more or less a traditional country pattern. This is a popular chord progression and Wakefield sings over it. You can’t really understand much of what he is saying and the song feels like it ends before it begins.
The second song “So Long” in comparison doesn’t have anything in common with the first other than that it has vocals and guitar. This song is aptly titled. It moves like molasses through melancholy but I don't say that in a bad way. That being said the initial riff desperately needs a change after the first minute or two. Wakefield has a good voice but it doesn’t make up for the fact that it feels like the song needs at least one significant change.
He closes with “Bailey” which revolves around a couple of basic chords. He sings, “I don’t know you / I don’t know your name / but i like the way you know about me / my school / my god.” He then sings “Don’t mess with me.” Hmmm not completely sure what’s going on or what perspective he is writing from. But it doesn't come off as flattering. I liked the juxtaposition.
Wakefield gives us three songs all of which sound different. The songwriting is basic but he has some potential. I like his voice but he sometimes doesn't know how to properly tame it when he sings in a higher pitch. Overall, I liked this EP despite some of these issues.
As a songwriter he has a long way to be competitive with some of the best with an acoustic guitar and vocals (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, The Tallest Man On earth) but so do most. I’d like to hear a more focused EP that paints a clearer picture of his sound in the future. Godspeed and looking for what's around the corner for the young talent.
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