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Gary Stewart - Year and a Day (Babaganoush)

Star rating: 
3

The Scots-born now Leeds-based singer-songwriter Gary Stewart adopts a minimalist approach as he returns with four new songs with four single syllable titles, Thorns, Eve, Green and Blue. The four songs on his new YEAR AND A DAY EP once again feature Gary's distinctively throaty voice and delicate acoustic guitar throughout. The opening song Thorns is imbued with an epic torch-bearing anthemic quality that you imagine would go down well as a concert finisher, whilst Eve is effortlessly reminiscent of the mid-1960s bed-sit period Paul Simon. By stark contrast the sprightly mandolin-led Green brings out the more joyful side of Gary Stewart's songwriting with a veritable toe-tapper of a song. Concluding with the more brooding nature of Blue, the EP closes with a moment of thoughtful repose, both atmospheric and tightly arranged. With contributions from Rich Huxley on vocals and percussion, Sam Lawrence on vocals, electric guitar and mandolin, Adam Richards on double bass, Rich Stephenson on vocals, Kieran O'Malley on violin and Simon Goff on violin and viola, YEAR AND A DAY clearly indicates Stewart's growing ambidextrous qualities both up front and at his usual position on the drummer's seat.      

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky