Michael Clancy is an English songwriter from Colchester, Essex. Now before you click on to the next review, please read on a bit. His five-track ‘Songbird’ EP reveals him to be a very accomplished songwriter. The words, ‘simple’, ‘gentle’, ‘easy’ or ‘soft’, in many reviews might be used as terms of denigration. Clancy’s songs possess each of those qualities but don’t let that fool you into thinking that they are bland easy listening. Like the very best songwriters, Clancy has the ability to write in an economic style whereby less is more. There a few obvious hooks, yet the songs are deceptively catchy. They don’t grab you instantly but rather they subtly work their way inside you.
All five tracks stand up, but opener ‘Soldiers’ is the pick of them. Its effortless simplicity brings comparisons with Darden Smith, and there few greater compliments than that. The title track ‘Songbird’ is slightly more upbeat than the rest of the EP, but it still might be argued that the five songs are a bit one-paced. A full album release in future would need to demonstrate the ability to add greater variety. In the meantime, ‘Songbird’ provides a tantalising glimpse as to what Clancy might be capable of.