Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, Stuart Daniel Hoy is an artist who recently released his first EP entitled She. She contains four tracks of folk rock that prefers clean, bright palettes of sound over distortion. I was reminded of The Decemberists in a number of ways. Topically, She as you may have guessed revolves around a woman Hoy was involved with.
Hoy’s vocals may take a bit of time to warm up to. He has a unique voice that I have to admit I had ambivalent feelings about while first listening to She. The album opens up with “Also Wrong About That,” which I thought was the highlight of the four songs. It starts with an acoustic guitar and bass but quickly gets layered with drums and vocals. The vocal melody on the verse is catchy and fluid, and the energy is upbeat with a tinge of melancholy. Hoy isn’t afraid to flex his muscles with an impressive guitar solo about half way through the song.
“He Who's Read” is as close to straight up folk as Hoy gets. In fact it sounds like a traditional folk song at times. I was trying to zero on Hoy’s lyrics but I have to admit I was having a hard understanding what he was saying. I always suggest adding your lyrics to your Bandcamp page.
On “Bask And Run” he sings,” I’m a wise one and so far from gone because we are pretending, like someone I once knew.” Hoy’s lyrics are mostly vacant of clichés, which isn’t an easy task as he took on a subject which is certainly one of the most ubiquitous in music.
He closes with “100 days,” which is a melancholy, nostalgic song. It’s a solid song but I heard a number of sour vocal notes, which should have probably been re-recorded.
She is a solid debut and builds a foundation for his future releases. He still has a ways to go in terms of songwriting and there were a number of areas, which could be improved but nothing that can’t be accomplished if he continues to improve.
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