S J DENNEY
The Moods That Follow EP
Benfleet, United Kingdom
‘The Moods That Follow’ is the title of S J Denney’s newest EP. Featuring chill vibes, crispy vocals and some experimental textures, the EP is certainly not one to miss. The tracks bring interesting rhythms, vocals and melodies to the table in a well-produced yet brave fashion. ‘The Moods That Follow’ is unafraid. And it shows in the songs that flow from beneath its tranquil cover.
‘The Art of the Possible’ washes over us to open up the EP. The bass lights up the background with warm moves, the percussion crunches with maracas and a soft snare, the guitar sways from chord to chord as the waves crash in the background. All the while the vocals are the breeze, carrying conversations and laughter across the way, and painting a splendid picture for us. The song picks up for the chorus and it feels like a climb rather than a change. It layers upon itself and you can’t help but feel uplifted. The use of strings is the ear-catching element and they have been used masterfully. They are not overused or produced, they simply flow in and out, only adding never taking. All of this thoughtfulness leads to a great song that felt like a classic as soon as it started.
To follow that rock solid track comes, ‘A Silent Scream’. The song feels like early Duran Duran. Complete with the occasional weirdness that comes along with that comparison. The use of wood whistles and various woodwind instruments leads to a very distinct and interesting sound. It breaks up the verse and adds a friendly smile to the track. The end of the song grows and swirls, textures and Oasis-style harmonies are supported by a steady beat and endlessly creative bass and guitar parts. The song comes together in a moment and continues to evolve as it goes.
The most pop-centric song on ‘The Moods That Follow’ I would argue is ‘I Don't Know if This Changes Things?’ It breathes to life with a warm piano and bass combo. The vocals feel so at home and are heightened later through the use of a two-part harmony that is slowly trending toward obscurity. The chorus is catchy and chant-worthy, it’s a real sway machine so if you ever have the privilege of catching S J Denney live, don’t forget your lighter.
To end we have ‘In the Dying Light’ a song that uses eastern instruments to create layers and textures and feels purposefully removed from the rest of the EP, that is until you listen all the way through for a secret goodie (shh I didn’t tell). The instruments tell a bigger story for me, as well as creating a brilliant atmosphere and amphitheatre for the vocals to come into their own. They tell a story of a time that has almost been lost in modern music. A time of smooth bands with big sounds. A time of string sections in choruses and a time, as mentioned previously, of two-part harmonies. This EP feels like a blast from the past and it's a welcome one. S J Denney has not shunned modern techniques or motives, he has taken them under his wing. They have influenced the music but have not driven it to be something it was never meant to be. ‘The Moods That Follow’ are ironically the moods that once were, moods that make you smile and think of slow dances, summer afternoons and sunflower seeds.