The singer-songwriter genre is overflowing currently, with many preferring a guitar-and-voice approach over other styles. The addition of other instruments into the mix adds a point of difference, which can make an artist stand out from the pack. ‘Staying Put,’ the new debut EP by Walks (Aucklander Frankie Busfield), tries to do just that.
A mellow affair, ‘Staying Put’ is a labour of love for Busfield, who played all instruments (with the exception of the violin, and piano), and recorded the tracks in a music room at his home. Busfield is influenced by early Neil Young, and this does come across on the EP in the finger-picked guitar work and laid-back vibe.
There’s much to like on ‘Staying Put’: the ringing guitar, the heart-on-sleeve sincerity of the lyrics, and the low-key, almost muffled vocals are charming, but there is a sense that Busfield isn’t entirely sure of his direction, especially when closing track Stop Telling Me You’re Lonely develops into something a little more epic (rhythmically and structurally) than the other tracks on the EP.
‘Staying Put’ evokes an early 1970s acoustic folk-rock genre well, with lovely chiming instrumentation, and judicious use of violin, placed just-so in some of these songs, but it occasionally appears a little disoriented, as if Busfield can’t quite figure out what he wants the EP to be. It will be interesting to see what direction he takes.