6 Jul 2012

Narrow Plains: Music Review

I first heard Narrow Plains in May after they followed me on Twitter and I decided to check them out. They are a 3-piece acoustic band, consisting of Charlie Ferriday and brothers Roger and Stuart Connick. They are fairly different to the bands that I have reviewed up till now but as I listen to a wide mix, I wanted to represent that in my choice of reviews. Narrow Plains have produced a 5 track upbeat, catchy first E.P. called 'Somewhere in Between'. So lets...

Say Hi!




Courtesy of Narrow Plains


When I first listened to them they reminded me of someone else..but I can't seem to put my finger on a single artist. Having listened to some artists/bands who I thought of whilst trying to think of the one I couldn't think of, I found these. In most cases it is a particular track, here are those that they remind me of in some way:

Streetlight - Joshua Radin



...the voice...


Stay With Me (acoustic) - You Me At Six




A funny clip and again the voice.


Clouds - Newton Faulkner



I hope those clips weren't too distracting :) Now for some Narrow Plains!


Drumroll please...


The first track on the EP is 'Running To Your Door'. With a quick tempo it matches the title of the song. It was instantly lodged in my brain, is very catchy and is a great introduction. 


Running To Your Door (3.00)






Next is 'Dreams'. The intro has a country/folk feel to it which is something the boys are happy to embrace (see interview below). The lyrics to this track are simple but meaningful and I particularly like the plea to the person to whom he is singing that they should open up their eyes to see his. Undoubtedly, this appeals to my romantic side but hey ho!

Dreams (3.37)




The next track on the EP is Choices and you get to sample all the tracks as its only an EP.


Choices (2.44)





For the first EP to come from these guys, I definitely think it is a great start and am curious to see what the next EP will be like. My favourite track from the EP is Seventeen. I think this has a lot to do with the emotion that you can hear in the vocals, especially at about 50 seconds with the line starting 'well, maybe I will find the light', the clip below isn't that great - so if you have Spotify, check it out there. They also remind me of Eric Hutchinson towards the end of the track.  I'm not sure why there are only two band members (maybe one is holding the camera) but lets see them in action...


Seventeen (3.59)




The title track from the EP is 'Somewhere in between'.


Somewhere in Between (3.31)





Having only formed as a 3-piece earlier this year there is very little information that I could find and thus relay to you so I needed to think of more than 4 questions for my interview! Stuart was kind enough to agree to answer these for me.

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Can you give me a brief history of the band to date?
Charlie and I (Stuart) have been playing together since we were about 13. We were in a couple of rock bands at school together and wanted to keep playing whilst we were at two different universities. For 3 years we wrote songs and sometimes met up to play gigs at our universities. When we finished university we recruited my brother Roger to play bass and came up with the name 'Narrow Plains'. We recorded the EP at the start of 2012 and have since been playing gigs to promote it.

The name of your band is Narrow Plains, where does that come from?
We were searching for different band names, and all liked the names 'the narrows' and 'the plains'. However, both of those were taken, so we put them together and made 'Narrow Plains'.

What was your first gig & what was it like as Narrow Plains?
Our first gig was at an end of term ball at my (Stuart's) university. It was a good gig, although it was strange having the whole audience in dinner suits! We felt very underdressed!

Your bio says that it took you a week to write and record the EP. Who wrote the songs and what was your inspiration?
We already had the basis for a lot of the songs, which were put together by Charlie and I (Stuart) during our time at university. After Christmas 2011, we went to the Connicks (Roger & Stuart) grandma's house, which she was nice enough to let us use. When we got there, we put all of the riffs together and Roger added bass. We wanted to create something that we could look back on when we were older and be proud of.

Who or what do you think has been the biggest influence on your music?
We have all been fans of Newton Faulkner since we were young. He comes from around our area, and we used to see some of his early gigs. In fact, the first gig that Charlie and I (Stuart) went to was his. His guitar playing style has greatly influenced Charlie. Mumford and Sons are also a major influence behind the folky side of our music. Finally, there is some inspiration from american rock music such as Goo Goo dolls and Foo Fighters.

What is your favourite track off of the EP? and what is the track that fans always tell you is their favourite?
We like all of the songs on the EP, they all have a distinctive character to us, but the one that we enjoy playing live the most is 'Running to Your Door'. It always gets audiences dancing and singing along. The fan favourite is probably 'Somewhere In Between', which is a great song to chill out to.

All your songs are very upbeat, and I always imagine its a sunny day when I am listening to them. How do you feel about angry tortured soul type songs?
We have no problems with more melancholy songs, as long as they've got a message that we can relate to.

If you had to listen to a song on a permanent loop for the next year, what would you choose?
Definitely the Nyan cat

I am always curious as to which song bands would cover if they went on the radio show 'Live Lounge'...so, which song would you like to cover in that situation?
We recently did a cover of 'We found love' by Rhianna. We love to put our own spin on popular songs.

Finally, What is coming up for you guys for the rest of this year?
We are doing a load of gigs this summer. We're also going to record some videos and continue working on some new material. We're playing the 100 Club on the 19th of July which is going to be massive! Tickets are still available!

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The Album cover artwork does remind me of a maths textbook but the chilled out shades reflect their musical style. I don't know about you, but I plan to catch them on the 19th. Keep an eye out for the gig review. If you like what you hear check out some of the links below and share this blog post.

Links:

http://www.narrowplains.com
http://www.soundcloud.com/narrowplains

Twitter: @narrowplains
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/narrowplains

2 comments:

  1. Another great review! The internet has definitely changed the way we enjoy music (and even finding new stuff!). I know I personally felt like I was truly part of the Duran-verse once I got on the web, and I'd would have never found Take That and Mark's solo stuff otherwise. And without the web, my Darren Hayes collection would be restricted to Savage Garden records!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're right Keebs! The internet has been a great source. Thanks for the comment and aww shucks! lol

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