Eaves’ first LP, What Green Feels Like, bears many comparisons with the American Folk artist Ryley Walker, who returned last month with his sophomore record, Primrose Green. Indeed, if Walker is the new standard bearer of the ‘new-folk’ moniker, it is Eaves who harks back to the English folk of artists such as Nick Drake, all delicate finger-plucking, underpinned with a driving force. What Green Feels Like is a confident debut from an artist who has the potential to create big waves in the new-folk tradition.
The record begins with lead single Pylons, which sees Eaves, whose real name is Joseph Lyons, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, before being joined with a cacophony of instruments, leading towards a grand finale for a track which has deservedly been given airplay across some of the largest digital radio stations. The following track, Dove In Your Mouth, is a little more bombastic, yet before accusations can be made that this record shouldn’t be classed as folk, the gorgeous Spin arrives, aping the sound of Nick Mulvey but doing a great job of ensuring that it never falls into pastiche.
The 9 tracks here on What Green Feels Like are bold and adventurous, and to give Lyons credit, each track tries something a little different from the one previous. Whether it is the virtuoso guitar playing as found on Spin, or the ghostly Bon Iver vocals opening As Old As The Grave, there is enough variety on offer here to keep the listener engaged and enthralled in equal measure, and that is testament to Lyons’ creativity. The most memorable track on the record is the closing one, Creature Carousel, played out on steel-string guitar, and sung with the world-weariness of an artist double Lyons’ age. The vivid imagery Lyons’ creates glides the track on through its near seven-minute length, without ever out-staying its welcome. In serving as a closer to the record, and making the listener want to flip back to the beginning of Side A immediately, it does its job with aplomb.
The current musical climate might be reaching saturation point with male, guitar playing solo artists, but Joseph Lyons has the abilities, and the craftsmanship, to stand out. The future is most definitely bright for this young folk troubadour.