Archive for Edwina Hayes

Ben Parcell – Expectations

Posted in CD, Folk, Pop Punk with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 5th September 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Ben Parcell
Expectations

Released 14th September 2013
Acoustic/Folk/Pop Punk
Released via By The Sea Records

Since becoming a solo act, Ben Parcell has gained a relative amount of fame through the East riding area and beyond for his soul-fuelled songwriting, distinctive voice and hard working attitude. Ben has clocked over 250 shows around the UK, playing both gigs and festivals. Taking influence from a wide range of different acts and genres such as Frank Turner, The Beatles and Green Day, Ben has established his own sound whilst staying true to his roots.

Opening up the album is the title track, Expectations, which proves to be a gentle yet honest song filled with emotive lyrics as well as distinctive accompaniment of piano. Out Of Here has a different sound all together, with a new pulse added to it by the use of percussion while the lyrics and vocals a certain tension to the music that rings out with all the strength of church bells minus the inducement of headaches. The use of guitar has a slight jig to it, blending in elements that are hard to explain. Gracie Falls‘ vocals inject a docile but rare touch into the song.

Forget The Pain has a misty, Stygian atmosphere that is reflected gracefully through each note and dances seductively with the lyrics. Given the darkish sound of the song, would it be safe to classify this as doom folk? Painted By Numbers is the upbeat number that appeared on Ben‘s EP of the same name (the review of which can be found here). The backing vocals, as provided by Edwina Hayes, adds a pillar of strength to the song while Ben‘s vocals and guitar work laid the foundations. I Don’t Need You continues with the upbeat tempo though the lyrics and vocals leave a trail of dusk and solemn feelings in their wake – A contrast that clearly works well for Ben. The piano medleys add a handsome sound to the song, keeping it fresh yet gloaming.

Undertow sails down a similar route to that of the opening and title track Expectations but some interesting changes of course throughout its journey whereas Jetsam a stable and silky campaign from beginning to end – A perfect chill out song. Stay In Touch is another song from Ben‘s Painted By Numbers EP and makes for easy and pleasant listening, though the pace picks up ever so slightly after the introduction. Too Late To Say Goodbye also appeared on Painted By Numbers, capturing the sobering and reflective side of Ben‘s music. The last song to feature on the album from Painted By Numbers is Love Song, which rings out with emotional lyrics and soul-filled music.

The album finishes up with Light At The End Of The Tunnel. The guitar passages whistle out a partially majestic sound, underlying the subtle emotional tones in Ben‘s voice. The organ sounds summon up a thoughtful, somber sound that makes the song almost infused with doom-flavoured elements which are eventually added by the grave use of Black Sabbath-based electric guitars.

Since his career began as an acoustic act, Ben Parcell has slowly become one of the well known musicians of East Yorkshire’s acoustic and folk scene and Expectations is a testament to Ben‘s talent and is one of the most important albums in the East Yorkshire’s folk scene – If not, the UK’s. Blending influences and elements from different genres and musicians, Expectations also clearly shows an evolution in Ben‘s sound and style.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Ben Parcell online:

http://www.benparcell.com
http://benparcell.blogspot.com
http://gplus.to/benparcell
http://benparcell.bigcartel.com
http://benparcell.bandcamp.com
http://www.twitter.com/benparcell
http://www.reverbnation.com/benparcell
http://www.myspace.com/benparcell
http://www.soundcloud.com/benparcell

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Ben Parcell – Painted By Numbers [2011]

Posted in Folk with tags , , , , , , on 25th September 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Ben Parcell
Album: Painted By Numbers
Release year: 2011
Genre: Folk/Pop-Punk
Ben Parcell has been on the rise in the British acoustic scene since the recording and release of his debut album “Humble Beginnings” though he had already established a name for himself with his old band “The Trailers”. His song “The Only One” is featured on the benefit compilation ‘Unity’ by Engineer Records which features mainstream acts such as ‘The Gaslight Anthem’ ‘Fightstar’, ‘Funeral For a Friend’ and ‘Luke Pickett’. “Painted By Numbers” is his latest release.

The title track “Painted By Numbers” starts the album with a brilliantly composed guitar section with a slight use of percussion. The vocals soon follow adding a mellow sound on top of the soothing acoustic riffs. The song has a soulful flow, enchanting the listener. The backing vocals, provided by Edwina Hayes, are powerful yet subtle, adding emphasis to the lead vocals, giving the song a certain warmth in the sound. The small use of piano is unexpected and surprising but a brilliant addition to the song. “Too Late To Say Goodbye” follows after with a solemn sound in both the vocals and music. The track is slower compared to “Painted By Numbers”, capturing the essence of Ben’s talent and musical style in a deep, emotional way. The lyrics help bring a certain touch of emotion to the song as well bringing a tear to the eyes of the listener. The vocals are very distinct and strong throughout “Too Late To Say Goodbye”, helping add to its sound and masterful composition.

“Stay In Touch” picks up the pace though staying slow and steady during in the introduction. The vocals adapt well to the changed tempo, working well with the acoustic riffs. Parts of the song make the listener feel like having a small jig along to the music. The tempo changes add character to the music as well, giving it a very original edge. The EP finishes with “Love Song” which brings back the slow pace combined with awe-inspiring vocals and well-written lyrics. The calmness of the music could easily ease the listener into a relaxed state of mind. The combination of lead and backing vocals brings about a very soothing atmosphere and the use of keyboards throughout the song add a touch of brilliance.

After hearing “Painted By Numbers”, the listener will no doubt know why Ben Parcell has been doing so well. Each track is composed in such a way that it would be near enough impossible to try replicate the sound that Ben creates with his talent. “Painted By Numbers” is certainly an EP that one could listen to over and over again without growing bored of it. Even if you’re not a fan of acoustic music, this is a brilliant EP with a happy medium of pop-punk and folk music. The only downside to it is that it’s not a full-length release, though no doubt Ben will have a full-length release somewhere in the pipelines.

5/5

Nico Davidson