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Album Review: Eaves – What Green Feels Like

2 min read

Still only in his early twenties, Leeds-based singer-songwriter Joseph Lyons, aka Eaves, has earned a reputation for creating music with the haunting perceptiveness of not only a more seasoned musician, but a much more wisdom-wearied individual. His debut EP As Old As The Grave was released to much acclaim in November of last year and fans have been eagerly awaiting the troubadour’s next evocative effort, which comes this April via Heavenly Records.

Eaves What Green Feels LikeEaves’ debut studio album What Green Feels Like is a delicate, heartfelt affair that navigates the musician’s upbringing and dreams, as well as themes of death, desire, small-town experiences and the struggles of the working class. The LP opens with a soothing, arpeggiated acoustic guitar and Eaves’ effortlessly handsome voice, uttering his striking poetry (Dreamers talk in twos and threes / Lovers walk with grass-stained knees). Already emotionally powerful, Pylons undulates with the addition of percussion, layered vocals and bass before releasing slightly at the final minute mark to prepare us for the emotional onslaught of the rest of the album.

The heavier sounds of Dove In Your Mouth offer sophisticated metaphors and lyrics as sharp as a butcher’s knife, while Eaves lightens the mood with the intimate campfire track Spin, whose interlocking vocal and guitar melodies create countless magical moments. Purge has the musician asking “where has my love gone? What has my life become?” over weeping electric guitar, while Alone In My Mind explores themes of self-conscious vulnerability over beautiful, wistful folk.

The stunningly bare orchestration of Timber and Creature Carousel, and the aching beauty of As Old As The Grave resonate particularly with me, with their moving imagery of modern small-town life and a young man’s attempt to escape that hometown pace. While all Eaves’ music is completely captivating, there is something so striking and melancholy about As Old As The Grace that completely absorbs me, with furrowed brows listening to his candid, elegiac utterances: (Father, you’re drunk, easy now / Only the bottle sees your best and worst / Mother, an ocean is raining now; still your garden dies from thirst).

Eaves is expertly simple in his arrangements, but emotionally and often harmonically complex, creating music that could penetrate the core of anyone in any time or place. His voice, at once pure and seemingly oak-aged, engages in a simple, unpretentious delivery that perfectly shares his poetry and stunning melodies. What Green Feels Like leaves you both emotionally exhausted and retrospective, while simultaneously wanting more.