I first played this album on a Thursday morning. I woke to what I thought was going to be sunny but by the time my trainers were on and my headphones in to walk the dog, the heavens had opened. But thanks to the soulful tones of George Ezra the rain didn’t seem as heavy.
I was greeted with all seasons and 50 emotions, the kind of music everyone needs to hear from the hot summery vibes of Shotgun and Pretty Shining people to the slow and moving Only a Human, and then the uplifting sounds and lyrics of The Beautiful Dream he was the perfect soundtrack to my walk and subsequent day. The feel-goodvibes made me dream of summer days, lazing in the garden; a barbecue glowing as the sun sets; a cold beer in hand. With new vocal flicks, Ezra seems to shake it up with brassy undertones in his music meaning you can’t help but bounce.
Not to be cliche but, I have been a fan of George Ezra for many years but his days of Budapest and Cassy O, appeared a distant memory. So, when Paradise first landed on the radio I was thrilled that his unique and jazzy sound was back in the world. I was not a massive fan of his single Don’t Matter Now but I see it’s resemblance to the older Ezra that we’re used to, especially compared to the uplifting and funky Paradise which blew it out the water. It was just a wait then for an album and after hearing his incredible live lounge with Radio 1, I was thrilled to listen to the toe-tappers on this brand new album.
I was also impressed with Ezra’s romance, something not seen so much in his music.The romance of Hold My Girl and Sugarcoat just shows his maturity and makes him seem like a genuinely nice guy, well at least we can all dream. His debut album, ‘Wanted on Voyage’, now 4 years old, was based on people that he had met, this time there’s a more lose and free theme, expressing some kind of escape, and I can’t help but love it. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great album too and was so successful that it was only outsold that year by Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith but there’s a new feeling in this one.
Ezra explained in an interview with NME that he struggled to write the new album initially and eventually decided to travel and see the places he’d previously sung about, Budapest and Barcelona to name a few. But it was far from those European destinations in Norfolk and the Isle of Skye that he set pen to paper. Ezra explained how he stayed in Air B’n’B’s (not exactly some fancy rock star high life) and wanted to live with a stranger. That is how he met Tamara and the album found its name.
I was especially pleased to see the collaboration in the track Saviour, a soulful and deep tune with strong bass tones but the combination of Ezra and still rising stars, First Aid Kit was perfect. The track has something darker about it, as if he’s become more wise, something I can’t help but love. First Aid Kit also add this smooth and soft feel to the song, giving it something different and making you feel warm and sad at the same time.
There’s something that I can’t put my finger on in this album, whether it’s his newly refreshed sound, the slow ballads my heart needed to hear or the absolute summer feel good bangers, if this album played cricket, it’d be an all-rounder.
It’s authentic, you can hear the depth of the music and you can’t help but want to listen, 37 minutes just doesn’t seem long enough and I finished the album just like Oliver did with his gruel, wanting more. So in the lyrics of Shotgun ‘stick around and you’ll see what I mean’.
George Ezra’s new album, Staying at Tamara’s is out now.