Sarah Yeo is a singer / song-writer hailing from Exeter, Devon who recently released her debut EP ‘Broke Away’. Featuring five tracks all penned by the artist herself and produced by Richard ‘Digby’ Smith, whose previous producing credits include artists ranging from Led Zeppelin to Bob Marley, ‘Broke Away’ is an intriguing introduction to a UK artist who serves up real heart with her music.
Opening track ‘Fall For You’ begins the EP as it means to go on, a gentle, almost hypnotic ballad. The simple production of acoustic guitar, supported by sympathetic electric guitar chords allows Sarah to put her vocals front and centre, which proves to be a wise approach. The tale of a woman who is wary of falling further for a man whose intentions are not 100% clear is wonderfully sung, spoilt only slightly by the introduction of synthesized production towards the end, which feels more than a little unnecessary. ‘Be Happy’ is a gloriously upbeat song encouraging us all to re-capture that ‘sparkle back in our eyes’. Featuring a delightfully catchy chorus guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the listener every time, the track definitely achieves its’ aim, buoyed by spritely mandolin fills. Wonderful stuff.
Debut single ‘Roadie’ is a fascinating insight into the travelling life of a musician, set to a fittingly driving melody. The track leaves behind the sparser feel of the preceding entries, with percussion a little further up in the mix, stronger electric guitar (including an impressive solo) and flowing piano. In fact the feel of the song is revealed in the lyrics during the chorus with Sarah checking that it is okay to ‘play Eagles all the way’ en route to the next show, musically ‘Roadie’ offers a nod to the work of the iconic US four-piece. Piano-led ballad ‘What’s The Point’ poses emotional questions surrounding the doubts of beginning a relationship and is a perfect showcase for the range of Sarah’s beautiful vocals. A moving song which surely must silence the venue at live shows, captivating the audience, the recorded version easily manages to hold the listener spellbound.
The title track ‘Broke Away’ brings the EP to a close all too soon, and is a strong sign off from Sarah. Another gentle affair with acoustic guitar and lead vocals taking centre-stage, adding in a refrain to the end of the chorus which brings to mind the vocal dexterity of Karen Carpenter. Repeated as the track fades away it adds a timeless feel to ‘Broke Away’ and its’ relaxed, cool mood.
A full studio album is in the pipeline for Sarah Yeo and following repeated listens to ‘Broke Away’ the conclusion is that this can only be exciting news. Its’ five tracks certainly show the variation in Sarah’s material, the playfulness of ‘Be Happy’ is stark contrast to the almost tense emotions of ‘What’s The Point’. However, it would be wonderful to hear the artist really be able to flex her musical muscles across ten tracks or so and branch out even more. For now this debut EP comes highly recommended as a short but incredibly sweet opening effort from a classy singer / songwriter set to make her mark on the UK Country scene.