Yorkshire Coast Gigs - A Community Interest Company

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'Influence' is an EP of four original songs by Scarborough singer-songwriter, Callum Gibson. It's great to hear new music being put out there by local musicians, but did I mention that Callum is still only sixteen? Don't let that irrelevant number put you off though - this is a collection of songs that many more experienced songwriters might be proud of.

The performances are largely acoustic guitar and vocals with occasional additional instruments such as the subtle piano backing and atmospheric electric guitar solo on 'Apocalypse', and it is these more pared-down tracks that are most compelling. This song in particular has a lightness of touch that belies the lyrical content.

There's often a lilt in Callum's voice, sometimes threatening fragility but always confidently settling on the melody that suggests a classic folk song attitude, but the lyrics and turns of melody are of contemporary culture - it's a very pleasant combination of musical influences that works well.

Some lovely fiddle on 'Traveller' enhances the folky feel that runs through the EP, an approach that at times reminds me of early Richard Thompson. It was only after a few listens before I realised this track also had a drum backing, partly due to the sympathetic production but also testament to how Callum's singing and way with words grabs your attention. Playful rhyming and varied rhythmic phrasing characterise this song, not least the onomatopoeic tumbling words at the end of the chorus.

This is an impressive debut that left me excited for what else this young songwriter might produce and also keen to look out for him performing live. If you enjoy well-crafted songwriting I'd suggest you do the same.

'Influence' is on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/influence-ep/id1011741830