Stylusboy – Routes

Steve Jones aka Stylusboy, an indie folk singer from Coventry is releasing his second album Routes on 27th September.
The record consists of a concise collection of 10 songs.

Opening track Embrace The View is a very pleasant country tinged track which showcases Steve’s voice nicely. Out Upon The Ocean continues with the country theme using intelligent and descriptive lyrics to describe the song’s narrative and even harks back to elements of the country rock era Byrds.

For The Souls of my Brothers is a yearning five minute lament about the loss of family members. All The Details is the most up-tempo track so far and includes great harmonies between Steve and Holly Hewitt and allows his excellent backing band to shine. Find Your Gold again brings his band to the fore especially Wes Finch on guitar and Tim Bowes on drums.

Keep You is a wonderfully gentle and harmonic song and perhaps the highlight of an increasingly top drawer effort. Ride This Storm allows John Parker’s Double Bass to come to the spotlight. Double Bass’s are big and unwieldy but on records like this they allow a far better bass sound than a regular bass guitar. The song builds to perhaps the catchiest chorus of the album.

Open The Door is a beautiful song and gives Steve and Holly’s perfect harmonies another outing. Shelter The Light is another of the album’s sad songs and will sound even better when performed live and builds to a great rock out which could be a potential set closer. The Album’s final track This Is Where I Belong goes back to the country theme but fits perfectly alongside the other songs.

I thought that I might like this album which is why I asked to review it but the quality of songs and the band’s musicianship has made it one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.

Mark Wakeman