Pouring over beach culture and embracing the hazy and nonchalant attitudes that walks hand in hand with summer, Cornish singer/songwriter Nick Mears releases his inaugural EP, Burnt Sky Sundown, dripping in acoustic Easy Listening and presenting the lustful vibes of self established independence and freedom, all packaged and sealed in a Rock/Rasta exterior.
The opening and title track, Burnt Sky Sundown, instantly acts as a finite introduction to the overall personality of Nick Mears songwriting, as a mellow soundscape of guitar and percussion rings out underneath his subtle and tender croons, hinting towards comparable influences from Easy Listening songwriters such as Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz, both of whose sonic characteristics echo throughout this EP’s length and duration.
Nick Mears’ self-professed blend of Rock and Hip Hop, however, comes into play during what’s hailed as the EP’s single ‘Never Coming Down’, which skips along lazily but candidly, presenting lyrical themes of ‘life on the road’ and creating an aesthetic that could easily be found on the quieter moments from Californian Ska/Punk outfit Sublime, albeit having a slightly looser production compared to the Longbeach counterparts, as the blend of brittle, jangling acoustic guitar and dense rhythm section hints towards a much more raw and unfettered bedroom production style.
This ‘unfettered’, almost borderline experimental approach comes more to the fore on ‘Cannabis and Cocaine’ as well as the seven-minute EP closer ‘Beautiful Light’, with both songs presenting a concoction of woozy and ethereal synths, mingled with adventurous production choices. However, it’s this experimentalism which seems to overreach the last two songs and pushes them into perhaps an almost amateurish realm, as elements such as the vocal effects on Nick Mears voice on Beautiful Tonight acts as an unwanted distraction to the obvious heartfelt emotion that is being poured into the vocal delivery.
Small criticisms aside, Burnt Sky Sundown is certainly an honest hearted attempt at a first release, doing its best to capture what everyone else is trying convey at this time of year, that being the heady emotions of carefree summer along with the emotional ride of everyday life that surrounds it.
Although, perhaps not being the best example of a record that tries to capture these feelings, Nick Mears is certainly creating a launch pad for himself that will give him the opportunity in the coming future to refine his songwriting skills and go on to perhaps being a hype worth name amongst the Cornish acoustic singer/songwriter elite.
Burnt Sky Sundown is available now on iTunes and Spotify.