Good Morning Easter Road E.P. Release by Lou McLean – review by Stephen Watt
Edinburgh singer – songwriter Lou Mclean is releasing her second E.P. on Friday the 9th of June. ‘Good morning Easter Road’ moves on from her acclaimed 2016 debut ‘September to December’, showing a maturation in style & a more polished approach to song-writing.
Lou will be launching a promotional campaign of radio appearances and live performances throughout May, culminating in a launch show at her favourite independent venue, Leith Depot, on Thursday 8th June @ 7.30pm.
Lou Mclean began her music career as a graduate of Girls’ Rock School Edinburgh. Since then, her style of storytelling in song has been compared to Courtney Barnett & Kate Nash, and she has earned a reputation as a playful musician & great live entertainer. Sharing the stage with the likes of Lail Arad & Laura Stevenson, Lou recently completed her first UK tour, and looks forward to the festival circuit this summer
“Her unique brand of wistful – riot grrl pop is unmissable” – The List, 2017.
Stephen Watt reviews Good Morning Easter Road
The new ‘Good Morning Easter Road’ EP by Edinburgh songstress Lou Mclean is as much a corkscrewed juxtaposition about being in love and breaking up as it is one about being confident in a relationship and a broken mess away from the limelight. When a great number of people are opting to lead a life on social media entirely opposite to the one that they really live, this is a record which holds up a mirror to oneself and only asks are we being fair to ourselves – not who is fairest of all.
Opening track ‘Empty Cans’ is weightless and transient, letting McLean’s tonic vocal buttress the acoustic strumming, punctuating an intrepid attitude towards being mistreated in love. “I’ve got my girls around me and I’ve been writing songs” may well be the Taylor Swift-formula of considering restitution but there are mannerisms which slip into a more, well, Scottish persuasion, trading the United States gloss for an East of Scotland tilt – and not solely because Dunbar crowbars itself into the lyrics. Equally defiant, ‘Bedtime Reading’ lends a surly delivery, citing “…Friday night beneath the covers” and “…worlds to discover between the sheets”, which cruelly lead the listener towards a painful knockback from our protagonist as she, instead, opts for the handsome words used by writers such as John Keats. It’s a comical masterstroke which applies its own poetry about the urban life stirring outside McLean’s window, and a refreshing take on literature’s love-hate relationship with sex.
In contrast, ‘Play Dead’ is a heartfelt, pained hymn intimating domestic violence using a lighter guitar melody beneath McLean’s dark words which allude to her own weaknesses playing its part in the end of the relationship. It is a prepossessing, if convoluted, song, letting the desire to be in love masquerade what has actually happened. The EP’s finest moment though is saved for ‘Green Shirt, Blue Eyes’ which finds our heroine “crying in the KFC on South Clerk Street” and being comforted by friends. Primarily a social-show of moving on, the song slows down towards a new love interest in the title’s description. Blur’s Graham Coxon once remarked that he began to fall in love with every woman who crossed his path at his lowest ebb, and McLean’s lines about “….and then in you roll, delayed by a last-minute goal” ebbs with a similar, truly quixotic notion and poignant conclusion, prior to the backs-against-the-wall stance during final track ‘Poets & Flat Caps’.
McLean’s involvement with Girls’ Rock School Edinburgh has clearly spurred the young musician to pen some intelligent storytelling, albeit some songs would greatly profit from a sonic-boost or occasional chord-variation. There is a fragility which is both endearing and unsettling and one can only hope that McLean’s second EP is the start of a green patch for the east coast musician – Easter Road, and beyond.
Stephen Watt, 1 May, 2017
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