The Empty Pages are an acoustic duo from Stamford, Lincolnshire. ‘The Wanderer’ is the follow-up to their 2017 self-titled album. The result is a pop-folk collection that doesn’t demand too much of the listener. Many artists and bands have coined in a fair few shillings in recent years by pouring out a similar kind of gentle folk-lite. The Empty Pages’ nautical themed album sets course for the slipstream of the Mumfords or Noah and the Whale, but to flog the metaphor to exhaustion, that ship has probably already sailed. The occasional tune lifts itself above the rest. ‘Please Take My Blues Away’ chugs along nicely with a mandolin accompaniment, whilst ‘I’ve Found My Place’ is the album’s stand-out track.
Elsewhere, lightweight vocals and unremarkable lyrics are the dominant features with tracks like ‘My Recovery Crew’ particularly painful: “I am a shipwreck, you are my recovery crew”. The Empty Pages don’t have the words of a Dylan or a Cohen, furthermore, they don’t have the great invention or creativity of an early Fairport. What they do have though, is a few catchy melodies and some easily recalled words. Polish it all up a bit and who knows? They might do fine, but they won’t live too long in the memory.