A striking debut EP that shows off a new talent to good effect.
Campbell’s songs “are a sidewalk cafe, a mood, a glimpse in the mirror. His voice is authentic and intimate, floating with a warmth and a country quality filtered through urban dust.” Opening song on his debut solo EP, ‘Bring to the Dawn’ sounds at first like Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ given a country twist. While he claims influences like Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, and Bob Dylan he has a contemporary flavour of the Finn brothers, with closing song ‘Sands’ sounding like a gentler Crowded House.
The mix of influences and styles that much Australian Americana has is in evidence on the other songs as well. Instrumental ‘Solstice’ could well be off an early John Martyn album. Turning ‘Flying In The Sky’ and ‘Waltz For The Common’ into duets with Maya Simmons changes the dynamic of the songs. Campbell’s own voice is a bit like a deeper Drake, or as suggested before David Gilmour. His songs settle into a relaxed groove that is fine over a 5 song EP but may need some more variation on a longer album. The more prominent electric guitar on ‘Sand’ hints at his rock band past with some of Sydney’s best know bands at the turn of the century.
As a first solo work this is more than promising. The songs all started as rough acoustic songs that were reworked into the finished articles. Those demos appear on the download version of the EP and while they don’t add much to the main EP they show that Campbell’s voice and guitar can shine in almost any setting.