Byron Stephens is a singer/songwriter from Australia who recently a four song EP entitled Floodline. Stephens presents you with his guitar and vocals. The songs are catchy, basic and sounds like something that would catch your ear in a live setting.
His guitar playing isn’t jaw dropping and he sticks to strumming chords and occasionally throws some lead in there. I enjoyed his vocals. He has no problems in that department. As for the production it's DIY and sounds like a good demo home recording but doesn't have the intimate kind of production you would get from a top notch studio.
There's nothing inherently wrong with Stephens songs but there is no denying that these type of bedroom recording can get lost in the shuffle in today's musical landscape . Since almost everyone with a guitar and a voice can make a decent recording on their laptop the competition is high.
My point is Stephens songs are well written but also fairly predictable pop songs that can bare comparisons to plenty of popular and indie artists . He may need to focus on what he can do that can make his songs stick out a little more whether that's introducing more elements or being more experimental in his approach.
The title track is soft, intimate acoustic, pop song. It has an FM radio single quality to it. I actually preferred the second track “Sacred Not Borrowed” which has a western, desert feel to it. The next two tracks “You Will Never Know” and “She Breathes” were both enjoyable yet standard sounding singer/songwriter type material.
I think Stephens has a lot of talent and that why I say with thoughtful praise that he needs to focus on finding more of a unique signature sound. If he is going to stick to mostly solo guitar I think learning more advance picking methods might be a good start and also suggest at some point to work with an engineer to get away from the demo quality production.
Overall, Floodline is enjoyable EP with solid presentation. I wish him luck with his evolution and hope to hear more soon.
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