EP REVIEW: Scott Lloyd – ‘The Northern Gate EP’

Folk singer/songwriter, Scott Lloyd, is about to release his second EP, entitled The Northern Gate EP, in early March. The EP takes the listener on a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from upbeat melodious tracks to more inward looking acoustic ballads, but one things for sure is that Scott Lloyd is a real talent.

Lloyd’s influences include some of folk’s greatest singer/songwriters, such as Bob Dylan and Neil Young, but his sound reflects sounds of the past and of the present. With a clear adoption and love for a fuller sound on this EP, it has taken his music to new heights, this is best shown in the lead single off the EP, Lock The Door, you can listen to a live version of the song below. This track clearly has nods to Jake Bugg in the way he plays his guitar, with a fiery, upbeat, fast melody and lyricism that could easily rival that of Bob Dylan, you can easily imagine yourself in a bar in downtown New York in the 60s listening to this track.

Track two, Morning Light, rests very well in its folk roots, a sing-a-long, jam type of song, that works well with its warm backing harmonies, a love song that is as sunny as it is sweet. A track that makes it feel like summer in the middle of winter, this song really showcases Lloyd’s ability to create the perfect folk song, using simple ideas that are so effective with the combination of rousing melodies and his infectious storytelling style of songwriting. This song will make you delirious with happiness in no time. I can’t think of anything better than hearing something that makes you smile, and this does exactly that.

Track three, Somewhere, is a delicate emotional ballad, about the loss of a past love and not being able to move on after the break up, heartbreakingly put “my love is sober and I can’t get over”. Highlighted with the arching melodies of his acoustic guitar and bluesy notes of the harmonica, this is a beautiful track, a highlight of the EP for me. Moving on to the title track, The Northern Gate, the track swells with emotion and feeling, embellished with ambient tones of saxophone and percussive tones of drums and tambourine. The track thrives on its storytelling core with lyrics like “I was leaving town / I thought this is no place for someone like me / I wanted to move on / I wanted to get it wrong, I wanted to learn from my own mistakes”. The meaning behind the song is very positive, it’s about finding the courage to break free from something or someplace that is bringing you down, and moving away from there, being true to yourself, even though it’s hard to move on sometimes you have to make that leap and it’s for the best. It’s a track that takes you on a journey, it’s hopeful for change yet it’s darker themes and mood are the most haunting of the EP, it is a credit to Lloyd’s versatility as a musician that he can pull this off just as well as the rest of the tracks on the EP.

Final track, Stay With Me, is a calming acoustic track, gentle and mellow in it’s tone, a retrospective track pleading for that person to come back to them, a nice way to end the EP. Only a mere 2 minutes 13 seconds, it is a short but sweet song, like a diamond in the rough, it’s raw intensity is it’s strength, Lloyd’s mesmerising vocals hook you immediately accentuated with it’s push and pull guitar melodies. Probably my favourite track off the EP, but with such solid tracks previously it’s hard to pick a favourite, Lloyd has definitely outdone himself producing a stunning EP that I hope gets all the attention it deserves.

This Middlesbrough born, Manchester based singer/songwriter has created an EP that is something to be really proud of, he has stretched his creativity even further, showing that he is no one trick pony, he is an artist with staying power and true musical ability. This EP clearly shows his clear progression as an artist since his début, taking us on a musical journey through life’s sweetest moments and overcoming the forks in the road that we reach at times, ultimately making us a stronger person in the end. This is an EP that everyone needs in their life, it’s breathtaking beauty intertwined with its delicate moments are a testament to Lloyd’s talent, a truly sublime piece of work, that I can’t recommend more.

Tracklisting: 1- Lock The Door, 2- Morning Light, 3- Somewhere, 4- The Northern Gate, 5- Stay With Me

The Northern Gate EP is out 10th March. Catch Scott live on 14th February at The Castle Hotel, Manchester and 28th March at Eagle Inn, Salford.

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Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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