Manchester-based Scott Lloyd first came to our attention earlier this year when he released his second EP ‘The Northern Gate’, reviewed on the predecessor to this website the EP earned much-deserved praise, especially for its well-crafted songs and personal feel to their delivery. Six months on and Scott is gearing up for the debut of follow-up EP ‘Give Me Something’, due out on 10th November. Undoubtedly garnering a reputation as one of the most significant singer-songwriters in Manchester he looks set to build further upon that with this new collection of self-penned songs.
‘God I Say’ opens the EP and is the first track to be made available to hear on Soundcloud, it also proves to be the perfect introduction to Scott Lloyd as an artist. Hard-strumming acoustic guitar and strong harmonica playing kick the song into life, as it ponders the state of modern life in the UK for Lloyd’s generation. Both in musical styling and lyrical content ‘God I Say’ tips its hat to musical influence Bob Dylan, were he tackling subject matter on this side of the pond. Lloyd adds necessary aggression to his powerful vocals, echoing the frustration of the lyrics and their ‘you feel like a cog on a wheel‘ refrain.
The gentler paced title track continues the theme of the struggles of life, as it searches for a greater meaning to it all. Sparse production enables the listener to focus on Lloyd’s vocals and truly absorb the lyrics, as with his previous releases the singer is completely confident to let his songs speak for themselves and the results pay dividends. Uncluttered and thoroughly accessible in all senses, ‘Give Me Something’ stands out for all of the right reasons. ‘What Have I Gotta Do’ is full of questions and equally full of energy, rattling along at a rate of knots. Boasting a cracking harmonica solo paired with impressive vocal dexterity from Lloyd, despite clocking in at just over two minutes the track adds real verve to the EP.
‘Picture In My Mind’ evokes the same for the listener with its description of a journey back ‘across the spine of England‘. The ballad finds the singer in reflective mood, remembering people and places from his past, whilst acknowledging their part in where he currently finds himself. With a wonderfully mellow feel the song has a true warmth to it and easily wins a place in your affections, one that you will re-visit repeatedly. Amongst other things mid-tempo ‘Make That Mistake’ showcases the strength of the singer’s guitar-picking, driving along a track which offers its own take on the age-old ‘is the grass greener on the other side’ dilemma. A song that fizzes with energy building to a powerful finish, it is definitely a highlight amongst the EP’s six tracks.
‘Is This What You Dreamed Of’ is another perfect example of what Scott Lloyd does best, and adds on a killer chorus to boot. Brimming with descriptive lyrics, completely cliché-free and original, the track presents one man, his voice & his guitar and leaves the listener wondering why would you ever need more? When a song is this well-crafted and performed with such authenticity & passion, anything additional is rendered totally unnecessary.
Scott Lloyd won us over with his ‘The Northern Gate’ EP back in March and this new six-track collection, ‘Give Me Something’, proves that was definitely no fluke. Everything that was to be loved about his second EP is present on ‘Give Me Something’, what this new EP displays is the continuing growth of Lloyd as both a writer an performer. Refreshingly confident on past releases, the artist has really hit his stride now and that comes through in his music. The songwriting is an absolute joy, with your ear drawn to the intelligent and straight-talking lyrics; whilst the performances are impassioned with an appealing rawness. Touching on a variety of genres – Country, folk, Americana, indie, the music on ‘Give Me Something’ is ultimately magnificent music deserving of the widest audience possible.
‘Give Me Something’ will be released on Monday 10th November and is available for pre-order now. On Monday 17th November an official EP launch show is being held at The Eagle Inn in Manchester, where Scott Lloyd will be supported by Liam McClair and Bones, check here for ticket details.