Feral is a young artist from Scotland who recently released his debut effort entitled The Expired Highland Railcard EP. The EP is very basic revolving around his vocals and guitar. His style is very familiar and has comparative qualities from Bon Iver to Glen Hansard and many artists in between.
The most striking aspect about his songs are the vocals. They are definitely unique, sometimes hard to understand and I can imagine his audience have an ambivalent relationship with his delivery. The EP opens with “Whole Thing Awkward.” I have to admit his accent started to grow on me after I listened to the song numerous times although I had to look at the lyrics on occasion. The song is about typical relationship stuff - getting pissed, misunderstandings and heartbreak. He sings, “There's no point being livid about it now / But he may as well have shouted / For all the good saying "Calm down" did him / The whisper's not louder in this case.”
“I Still Couldn't Grow a Beard” is a great title and seems to be a true statement from the pictures I saw on his Facebook page. The song is slow and and somber in a Bon Iver type of way and could have used a couple more changes. For whatever reason “The Shadow of The Frying Pan” is about 3 dbs softer and harder to make out what is being said. The seven-minute-long song gets more intense as it progresses simply by him playing the guitar more aggressively.
As the album continues there is little variation. “Wallow is Me” while having some moments needed some additional instrumentation towards the middle to really help carry the chords while “A Promise or Three” is a bit more upbeat. He closes with the most original song and arguably the most enjoyable entitled “To Count On” which is void of guitar. The song revolves around handclaps and vocal harmonies.
Feral still has a way to go to compete with the best solo musicians of today but from the looks of it he has plenty of time. I think some of these songs may have benefited from more instrumentation. Possible food for thought.
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