Review by Phil M
1St December sees British singer-songwriter Allman Brown releasing his new EP Second Son Part One, ahead of that he’s dropped his most recent single ‘Bad Blood’ from the same EP.
Brown was born in Hong Kong before moving to the UK, his first single ‘Sons and Daughters’ was performed with Liz Lawrence and received good reviews and a huge number of streaming hits at the time.
He already has a couple of album releases under his belt too – ‘1000 Years’ released in 2017 and ‘Darling, It’ll Be Alright’ in 2019 and has toured around the globe. Since then, he’s been busy releasing a good number of singles and EPs. His work will be familiar to watchers of US TV shows such as Suits and Criminal Minds where his songs have often featured.
The EP sees Brown adding more instrumentation (synths, bass, keyboards, and drums) as a move away from his usual approach on acoustic guitar. It starts with ‘Your Nature’ a synth intro leading to softly strummed acoustic guitar and Brown’s breathy vocal style. The mood is atmospheric pop with a folky tinge to it. ‘Call Me On’ has a piano and guitar intro and verse, the sound filling out with additional keyboards as the chorus arrives and there’s nice solo work in the middle eight.
The current single ‘Bad Blood’ is more upbeat with drums and 80s-style synth work as a hook line after the chorus. Brown tells us that ‘Bad Blood’ “is about dealing with the version of myself I don’t like very much. Sensing that I’m not improving upon the mistakes of my parents but perpetuating them, that I’m stuck in a loop I can’t escape. It’s a downbeat song in the sense that I can’t forgive myself sometimes for the things I’ve done and the hurt I’ve caused others”.
‘Breathe In, Breath Out’ was another single, mellow in approach with plenty of vocal harmonies and ‘Bewildered’, also a former single finishes up the EP. It’s beauty with more strident vocals and a bit more punch.
All in all, a pleasant easy-going set of tracks which reflects the direction in which Brown sees himself moving – away from the acoustic/singer-songwriter/acoustic guitar-oriented sound to more a band approach with plenty of synths, bass and drums supporting the guitar.
- Your Nature
- Call Me On
- Bad Blood
- Breathe In, Breathe Out