Thursday, April 13, 2017
EP Review :: Johnny Lloyd - Eden
April 14 2017 (Xtra Mile Recordings)
Words: Alison Mack
Johnny Lloyd can turn his hand to a tune there's no doubt and his washed-out guitar work will find favour along with his crooning voice. Now he puts both to use on this new four-track EP.
The former Tribes frontman has employed the services of The Maccabees Hugo White and The 1975’s Mike Crossey on this second work (after last year's 'Dreamland') which was recorded between Los Angeles and The Maccabees’ Elephant and Castle studios.
Listening to this EP, particularly on the 80s sounding 'Kanaval', you wonder how much of the US seeped into Lloyd's subconscious in the making, as this record feels more wide open West Coast, than the less rarefied environment of south-east London, or his Camden stomping ground. Or maybe he's just tapping into the more lucrative American market.
The one question that comes to mind is how much Lloyd misses being in a band and kicking up some fire, because it's really unclear what the purpose of 'Eden' is. The synth swamped 'Traffic', for example, should have been run over and killed before it ever left the studio, while the closing dreary title track will send you to sleep - if you haven't already succumbed.
Of lead single ‘Running Wild’ - by far the most accessible and pop friendly of the four, taking on an electronic ambience to augment bass and vocals - he has said it is "about being free and trying to find a place in the world." Let's hope he's found it.