Califorlornia – EP
I fell hook, line and sinker – or should I say hooks, as there were several, for John Murry’s debut full-lengther, The Graceless Age. Released last year, it was one of my favourites of 2013 – an album I continue to play, continue to hear as a towering achievement. You can get lost inside some of those songs, you almost need to tunnel back out of a tune like Little Colored Balloons. Well, there’s nothing quite so big and bold here, on what is – ultimately – a stop-gap released, a wee EP called Califorlornia. But this is good stuff. Solid. Here Murry shows that the songs are ticking over, there’s more in the tank and these are being shrugged off, nodded down in our direction as he readies another full-length release.
Golden State is the gem here – the sort of song you’d hope Springsteen will write again. (But he probably won’t). Elsewhere there’s that head-held-high stoicism in the emotional weight of the lyrics and delivery (Genius) and nods to Springsteen again with Glass Slipper and Timmy. But Murry’s voice is coming through – this is a good bonus/accompaniment to The Graceless Age. It’s further proof we’ve got a good songwriter on our hands here. And he’s got plenty of strong songs for our ears.