Robin Lewis was once the singer and songwriter for a hugely popular band in Orlando, called Who Hit Willie. They won several awards and Lewis has channelled his creative energy, passion and talent when it comes to creating original music with his newest solo project. With influences coming from all forms of power pop, folk, blue-eyed soul and reggae, there’s no genre in which this musician hasn’t dabbled. His newest album Bungalow’ is out now and features some of his finest moments when it comes to not only songwriting ability, but his talent as a performer. He writes, records and produces all his own work, which, given the high quality of the end result, is incredibly impressive. Of course, at the end of the day, it’s the music which makes this record what it is.
Robin Lewis’ latest eight-track EP entitled Bungalow opens with “Run and Hide.” A throbbing beat and slick, sliding acoustic guitar propels the song onwards, as a faint organ glimmers and shines in the backdrop of this folk-driven, melancholic work. This short track, coming in around the three-minute-mark, is laden with soft, tender vocals, as Lewis harmonizes with his own voice using careful, precise production to multi-layer all the instruments in perfect synchronization.
“Broken World” took me a little by surprise (in the best of ways). This surf-esque track takes a calmer, slower approach; driven by a slow beat, delicate chord strums and Lewis’ sweet, smooth vocals. An upbeat chord progression, several layers of guitar strumming, plucking and picking of both acoustic and electric guitars creates a delicate wall of sound. Everything runs together beautifully and this is most definitely Lewis’ strength. This upbeat track straight from the shores of some distant, otherworldly beach is the highlight of the album, by far.
The next track “Listen to the Rain” is a change of pace once again. This time, Lewis opts for a clicking, shaking drum beat, and sleek, Spanish-styled guitar playing. His vocals are consistent throughout this release, marking the most unique aspect of his style. It’s recognizable as him each and every time, meaning he’s found the perfect blend between consistency and diversity between each track, as he manages to sound new and refreshing on each new song.
Opting for more an alternative rock style, reinventing his music again, Lewis puts his soft, sleek vocals to a pumping drum beat, melancholic electric guitar chords and reverberating twangs far off in the distance. Sounding as if it’s a piece set off in a far-off galaxy, there were moments in which I felt as if Lewis was channelling a little David Bowie into his music.
All in all, this is an impressive EP. Lewis’ vast experience and success as a musician is of no surprise to me, as his musical capabilities both in terms of song-writing and performance are clear from the opening seconds of the EP. If you’re a lover of folk, or any form of solo acoustic music, then you haven’t heard it all until you’ve heard Robin Lewis. Give his EP a listen. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
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